A Bentley-driving millionaire property dealer with a “massive” cocaine addiction was jailed for five years for possessing a large amount of the drug and illegal handguns at a luxury West Wales hotel.
James “Jamie” Brown, 45, distinctive due a nose deformity caused by his cocaine use, was arrested by police last year in his Bentley Continental convertible near Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire.
Craig Jones, prosecuting at Swansea Crown Court, said the officers found cocaine secreted in the car’s air vents and in its folding roof mechanism.
Dyfed Powys Police detectives then went to Hurst House Hotel in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, where Glasgow born Brown had based himself.
The hotel was once part-owned by TV star Neil Morrissey of Men Behaving Badly and Bob the Builder fame.
There the officers found a 9mm semi-automatic Walther PP1 pistol, similar to the gun used by fictional spy James Bond, and a Russian-produced 9mm Tula Tokarev emblazoned with a star symbol on its handle.
In East House Farm, a home connected to the hotel, the officers also found a rifle, some more ammunition and more cocaine.
Brown, who admitted possessing banned handguns, cocaine and ammunition, snorted so much cocaine on a daily basis it led to a severe deformity of his nose, paranoia and heart problems, the court heard.
Prosecutor Mr Jones added that 25 years ago Brown had been convicted of threatening a person in a London pub with a sawn-off shotgun but soon after he turned his life around.
He said: “The defendant, through property dealing, became very wealthy and at 36 retired to Portugal where he was introduced to cocaine.”
He said after Brown’s addiction spiralled out of control he hired his 42-year-old cousin Andrew Stewart, also originally from Glasgow, as a helper.
Stewart, of previous clean character, was jailed for 15 months yesterday after he also admitted possession of the illegal handguns at the hotel and ammunition plus a small amount of cocaine for his own use.
Stewart was arrested in a silver Ranger Rover owned by Brown at Pendine shortly after Brown was arrested and the cocaine was found beneath the vehicle’s seat.
A third defendant, Steven Pearce, 44, of Laugharne, who was in the Bentley with Brown when it was stopped by police and who lived at East House Farm where he did work for Hurst House hotel, was yesterday jailed for 12 months for possession of firearms and cocaine.
Father of two Pearce, a former Whitland RFC forward who later played professionally in England, had just one previous conviction more than 20 years ago, affray arising from a fight.
Judge Huw Davies accepted Pearce had kept a quantity of cocaine at East House Farm as a means of trying to limit Brown’s use of the drug and not for his own benefit.
He also accepted Pearce’s connection to the handguns had been due to the arrival of Brown at the hotel.
The judge said: “Brown manfully admitted the guns were his.”
Mr Jones said some time ago, a cousin of both Brown and Stewart was murdered by a four-strong gang in a hotel.
He said Brown “became paranoid” about his own safety and acquired the handguns.
Frances Jones, for Pearce, said: “In custody on remand over these offence in prison he has been diligent, hard working and respectful and that’s how he’ll behave in future, a likeable, well respected member of the community.”
John Hipkin, for Brown, said: “He developed a massive cocaine addiction funded by legitimate means.
“He has suffered health issues, some cosmetic and some, like his cardiac condition, threatening.
“He’ll never return to that form of lifestyle again.”
After yesterday’s fri sentencing the judge agreed to hand over some of the confiscated cocaine to Dyfed-Powys Police for training purposes instead of destroying it because it was so pure.
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