A police officer exposed “Nicholas McFadden” from West Yorkshire police has been caught selling seized drugs making an estimated £600,000 in profit.
A “corrupt” detective stole massive amounts of seized drugs and conspired to sell them with his brother in a plot that generated at least £600,000 for the pair, a court has heard.
West Yorkshire police detective constable Nicholas McFadden, 38, helped himself to heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis – worth tens of thousands of pounds – by exploiting “slack” procedures at secret evidence stores, Leeds crown court was told on Tuesday.
McFadden, who was in charge of looking after evidence when he worked for a special organised crime group, and his brother Simon, 41, a debt collector, then conspired to sell the illegal drugs, making at least £600,000 from the venture, it is alleged.
The brothers “spent heavily but made so much money they didn’t know what to do with it”, jurors heard. They splashed out on exotic holidays, designer clothing, expensive jewellery, and home improvements.
When police raided the younger brother’s family home in Castleford, West Yorkshire, they found almost £160,000 in cash stuffed into sacks in his garage and £20,000 hidden around his house. They also discovered £6,000 in his high-performance car.
Nicholas McFadden denies stealing the drugs and conspiring to supply them but has pleaded guilty to money laundering, claiming he stole the cash from a drug dealer and made money selling illegal steroids. Simon McFadden, of Harehills, Leeds, denies conspiracy to supply.
“The plot of the McFadden brothers was successful and it generated huge sums of cash,” Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said. “The prosecution case is that Nicholas McFadden exploited [his] trusted position to steal drugs in very substantial quantities.
“Once the drugs had been stolen, Nicholas McFadden and his elder brother Simon McFadden conspired together and with others to supply those drugs for a profit. So, in other words, drugs which the police had succeeded in removing from the streets were put back by the accused men, who did so for the sole purpose of making money for themselves.
“Nicholas McFadden does not dispute that he suddenly came into a very large sum of money and he has given various explanations for how that came about.”
When McFadden’s police colleagues became suspicious of his new-found wealth, he told them his wife had received an insurance payout after getting cancer, which was a lie, the court heard.
McFadden also later told his wife, Clair, a headteacher, that he had made lots of money on overtime and his police pension was kicking in.
The court heard that during the marriage he a “strong friendship” with his former partner – a police officer called Tanya Strangeway – and gave her more than £13,000 in cash and bought her an Audi car, claiming he had a windfall after selling his house.
The detective was caught after regularly depositing cash in paying-in machines, which triggered a bank’s security alert and police were informed, said Greaney.
When he was arrested, McFadden told police he found bags of cash in a ditch by the M62 motorway.
“As Nicholas McFadden was to explain to the officers, he thought all his birthdays had come at once,” said Greaney. News published on: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/26/police-officer-selling-seized-drugs