Gary Passmore is one of the 21 million people who own an outdoor shed in the United Kingdom. The only difference is that he wasn’t storing just tools in his garden shed.
According to Exeter Express and Echo, Passmore, a 26-year-old resident of Barnstaple, was using his shed to deal cocaine. Police searched his home last December after reports from neighbors that they could smell cannabis. When the police arrived they found more than just marijuana being smoked, however. Greg Richardson, the prosecutor in the case, detailed the visit police made during trial:
“When Passmore walked past a table in his living room he swept something off it and police saw a white powder had fallen on the floor,” Richardson said. “The flat was searched and wraps of powder and electronic scales were found in the kitchen diner as well as a list of names and cash payments on a small table in the sitting room. His two iPhones were examined and hundreds of messages were found which indicated he was supplying cocaine in quantities of half a gram or a gram.”
Richardson determined Passmore was running a “tick system,” meaning he would sell cocaine on credit, sometimes even leaving packages in his mailbox for customers to pick up. The majority of his sales were conducted from his backyard garden shed. Passmore is believed to have dealt cocaine to over 100 people.
Judge Geoffrey Mercer sentenced him to three years and four months of prison.
“Over a period of six weeks you were dealing in cocaine for money at a significant level,” Mercer said at sentencing. “You must have known you would receive a prison sentence if you were caught, and that is what happened.”
Passmore, a painter and decorator, said he only started selling to support his own habit.