A BENTHAM man has been jailed for three years and a second man fined £500 following the discovery of cocaine with an estimated street value of around £30,000.

Officers from the Craven Neighbourhood Policing Team carrying out a drugs warrant at an address in Low Bentham on November 11 last year found about £30,000 in cash, a large quantity of white powder wrapped in packages, and equipment linked to the packaging and distribution of illegal drugs, such as self-seal bags and digital scales, heard Bradford Crown Court this week.

The white powder was found to be cocaine, with an estimated street value of between £26,400 and £34,800.

The two occupants of the property, Liam O’Hagan and James Lea-Thornton – were not there at the time, but handed themselves in to police a few days later, having been circulated as wanted.

O’Hagan, 26, was charged with possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession of criminal property, and two counts of possession of class B drugs, while Lea-Thornton, 24, was charged with two counts of possession of class B drugs. Two other people arrested in connection with the investigation were released with no further action.

At Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday both men pleaded guilty to the charges. O’Hagan, of The Sidings, Low Bentham, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and Lea-Thornton, of Main Street, High Bentham, was given a £500 fine and ordered to pay costs.

PC Ian Hunt, of the Craven Neighbourhood Policing Team at North Yorkshire Police, said afterwards: “The supply of cocaine results in nothing but misery and suffering. As the neighbourhood policing team for this area, we will not tolerate it here, and neither will the community that we serve.

“This case should serve as a warning that we will work relentlessly to put a stop to this type of criminality.”