A Falmouth drug dealer who moved into the parking lot of a closed pub during the lockdown has been jailed.
James Pickard was arrested after police saw him supplying a series of drug addicts at Malt House in Haven Road, Exeter and a nearby shopping center.
He was selling to pay off a drug debt to a County Lines refueling operation that used a taxi to deliver a phone and a large amount of heroin and crack cocaine to his home.
He was not paid but received free medicine and Â£ 80 debt relief for every day he operated as a runner for the gang.
He was arrested in the last lockdown, six days before the pubs reopened, Exeter Crown Court told.
Pickard, 27, from Kimberley Park Road, Falmouth, but now Broadway, Exeter, admitted possession of Class A drugs with the intention of supplying them and was jailed for two years by Judge David Evans .
He told her his case was more serious because it was in a pub parking lot and retail park in the middle of a shopping day with many members of the public nearby.
Prosecuted Miss Francesca Whebell said police saw Pickard selling to known drug users behind the Exe Bridges shopping park before heading to the pub parking lot, where two other drug addicts pulled up in cars.
He was found with 40 unsold packages of heroin or crack cocaine, each with a market value of Â£ 10 to Â£ 20, and Â£ 100 of proceeds from previous transactions.
Mr Simon Burns, defending, said Pickard had struggled with a ‘savage and horrible’ heroin addiction since he was 16, but was now determined to overcome his habit.
He resorted to desperation because he was in debt at a time when his life had collapsed.