A NEWPORT man has been jailed after he was found in possession of crack cocaine with a street value of more than £3,000 when he happened to interrupt a drug raid.

Jamie Mahoney, of Campion Close, Allt-yr-yn, Newport, pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug, with intent to sell. He appeared before Newport Crown Court for sentence on Monday.

The court heard that on November 22, 2013, Gwent Police officers were carrying out a drug warrant at a property in Broadmead Park, Lliswerry. Whilst the warrant was under way, Mahoney happened to knock on the door.

He was detained in the front garden and officers found a cling film wrap on him containing 20.7g of cocaine with a purity of 24 per cent.

Officers then attended and searched Mahoney’s flat in Campion Close where, with his assistance, they recovered 11.1g of cocaine of 71 per cent purity. A set of weighing scales contaminated with cocaine was also found.

The total amount of crack cocaine seized was estimated to have a street value of £3,200. The 24-year-old has no previous convictions and the defence asked the judge to take into consideration the fact Mahoney was acting under direction.

Defence barrister Mark Battrick said: “He is full of regret.”

He told the court Mahoney had lost his job in October, which resulted in financial difficulties and played a major part in how he fell into these offences.

Judge Thomas Crowther QC said: “It’s overwhelmingly obvious that your house was being used as a preparation station for the cutting and distribution of drugs.

“It’s a shame that you have come here today with a good work history until unemployment led you to dire financial circumstances.

“You were working under direction but your role was a significant one.”

Mahoney was given full credit for his early guilty plea and sentenced to 18 months, half of which is to be served in custody and half on licence.