A drug dealer was brought to justice after being caught up in a murder investigation in Lincolnshire.
Reece Keeley, 28, was arrested in April 2019 by police officers investigating the murder of Gainsborough man Jordan O’Brien.
Keeley, who was discovered to have been close to the scene of the murder on Scampton Way in the town, was initially spoken to by police as a witness but as the inquiry continued, he was arrested for murder.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that subsequent investigations showed that Keeley had been in the street for reasons totally unconnected with the murder and he was released without charge.
But officers had seized his mobile phone which was found to contain thousands of messages many of which showed he was involved in drug dealing.
In November 2019, Kieran Walker from Doncaster was jailed for a minimum of 28 years for carrying out the brutal machete murder of O’Brien — also an argument over drug debts.
Mr Scott said: “This case is founded on the phone evidence. The defendant was dealing in four types of drugs.
“He appears to have had a customer based in excess of 50 people. There is some evidence that he has involved others in the supply of drugs.”
Mr Scott told the court that Keeley was originally arrested as part of the investigation into Mr O’Brien’s murder.
“At the time of the murder the defendant was identified as a person of interest. He had been attending at the address shortly before the murder. He was initially treated as a witness but he then became a suspect.
“He was later de-arrested after the investigation showed that his presence on Scampton Way was purely coincidental.”
Reece Keeley, 28, who gave an address as c/o Fillingham Close, Gainsborough, admitted charges of supplying cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamine and cannabis between October 2018 and April 10, 2019. He was jailed for three years.
Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that Keeley began using cocaine after becoming depressed following the break-up of a relationship.
“He got heavily into an addiction and he was using far more than he could possibly afford. He got heavily into debt and the drug dealers put pressure on him.”
He said that Keeley began selling drugs as a way of paying off his debts to dealers but was not able to clear the amount he owed despite being given money by his mother.
Mr Cranmer-Brown said: “He continued until that fateful day when he found himself caught up in a murder investigation. It was an almighty shock to him to find himself being interviewed in an investigation into murder.”
He told the court that since his arrest Keeley has given up drugs and has been trying to find work.