An amateur crystal meth cook has been jailed after being found with beginner’s guides to fraud and drug making.
Edward King was found with a fully stocked methamphetamine lab at his house on King's St Margaret's at Cliffe in Kent, including stacks of cloned cards and a "how to" instruction guides.
It also included a drain cleaner, caustic soda, other dangerous chemicals and handwritten lists of prices, instructions and potential clients.
A taser disguised as a torch was also found.
But despite having all the ingredients, the 32-year-old never managed to make any drugs.
King became a suspect after officers found him in possession of three blank credit cards in nearby Canterbury.
During his trial, prosecutor David Tremain said: “It is the crown’s case that Mr King was finding ways to enrich himself by criminal activity.
“The product of that search included a large number of items connected to fraud and production of drugs.
“There were 50 blank white credit cards in various states of production, not all had pins, some had written on them details of pin numbers and on some the names of banks.
“What these cards would have been used for was to make fraudulent withdrawals of money belonging to unsuspecting members of the public who had their data harvested.”
But King’s lawyer argued the operation was amateurish and was unlikely to have been successful given there were only enough chemicals for a nine-gram crystal meth yield.
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King also had a juvenile mind after suffering a head trauma 10 years ago, his lawyer said.
He argued that the 32-year-old had acquired the taser for self-defence purposes because he was “fearful of being assaulted”.
But Judge James O’Mahony rejected these claims, citing the “planned and careful lengths” he had gone to.
He said: “It is perfectly clear to me you are an intelligent and resourceful young man.
“Fraud is a highly prevalent offence, anyone with a bank account or who shops online is aware there are scams everywhere, people are in fear of their bank cards being used and fraud of that nature.”
King, of Mount Pleasant Cottages in Chapel Lane, pleaded guilty earlier this year to possessing an article of fraud, possession of a prohibited weapon and attempted production of a controlled drug.
He was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail at Canterbury Crown Court.
Kent Police's DI Maxine Harris said: "King has failed to fully explain what he was doing with the various items found at his home, however, everything we have found suggests he was planning to produce the illegal drug to make money.
"Methylamphetamine and other class A drugs inevitably lead to further crime and anti-social behaviour for Kent's communities and I'm pleased this investigation has stopped such substances being sold to vulnerable drug users in the area.
"The blank credit cards and taser seized show King's criminality extended beyond the world of drugs and I am pleased he has now been removed from the streets of Dover.
"The message from this case for anyone else who considers getting involved in internet-inspired offences is that a jail term awaits you if you do."
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