A FORMER soldier and his brother have been jailed after they tried to build up a drug dealing network on the streets of Redditch.
Liam Blair, aged 23, of Barnwood Close, and Daniel Blair, 25, of Wharrad Close, thought they were offering cocaine for sale but really had a fake drug made up solely of other chemicals, Worcester Crown Court heard.
They both admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply and Daniel Blair also admitted obstructing a police constable in the course of his duty.
Gareth Walters, prosecuting, told the court the police spotted a Ford Fiesta in Redditch with the driver, Liam Blait, not wearing a seatbelt on April 21 last year.
They stopped the car in the Apollo 2000 car park and one of the officers noticed a smell of cannabis.
Passenger Daniel Blair got out and ran with the officer in pursuit.
He then turned and ran at the officer, who had to use CS spray to arrest him.
Liam Blair was also arrested and police found the drugs and equipment in the car.
There were 21.5 grams of repo - reproduction chemicals which produced a similar effect to cocaine.
If sold as cheap cocaine, it could have been worth between £440 and £600, Mr Walters said, and the 8.66 grams of cannabis would have been worth £90.
Police also found messages on mobile phones which suggested they were looking to build a drug dealing network and were offering discounts to people who would deal on the streets.
"This was not a small amount of dealing," Mr Walters said. "There were plenty of drugs involved and the two had been working together."
The brothers told police they had been selling to pay off a drugs debt and to fund their own use.
Diljit Bachada, defending both brothers, said Liam Blair had joined the armed forces at 16.
As Trooper Blair, he had been due to go to Afghanistan but it did not work out and he left the infantry at 21.
He was out of work at the time of the offences but now worked full time, had a new partner and had sorted his life out.
She said Daniel had also been working full time until recently and both had cut their ties with their former drugs associates.
Judge Robert Juckes, QC, said the brothers thought they were dealing in cocaine but he would take into account the fact the drugs were fake.
"It had the beginnings of a reasonably well-organised drugs network," he told them.
"You could have lived honestly but you chose to deal in drugs."
He gave them both two years in jail for the repo drug with 12 months concurrent for the cannabis and one month concurrent for Daniel Blair for obstructing the officer, making a total of two years.