A cash-strapped Newry electrician turned to drug dealing in a desperate bid to support his young family.
Apologetic Brian Morgan — who was jailed for six months last week — ran an ecstasy mini-empire from his bedroom, buying and selling large quantities of killer pills so he could put food on the table.
In a storyline similar to that of hit US television show Breaking Bad where chemistry teacher Walter White turned to the illegal drugs business, the 32-year-old, with a completely clear criminal record, turned to drug dealing to pay his bills.
Morgan’s life of crime began after he lost his job and racked up thousands of pounds of debts with pay-day loan companies. Out of work in the middle of a recession and with a pregnant girlfriend and 10-month old son to care for, Morgan used the internet to set himself up as an online pill pusher.
Between January 2011 and November 2012 he bought and sold around £50,000 of ecstasy, speed, LSD, cannabis, and mephedrone.
Ginger-haired Morgan's unlikely centre of operations was a bedroom at his home in Newry's quiet residential Shandon Park.
From a computer by the door he ordered bags of drugs from a supplier in Amsterdam.
He would then sell them on to other online pushers making thousands of pounds in profit.
But unlike experienced drug dealers, Morgan lacked the brains to become a top-ranking criminal.
Drugs which he had delivered to his home from Holland arrived via Royal Mail, and packages of pills he sent to his buyers
were stupidly placed in the post. When security at the local parcel sorting office became suspicious the PSNI was called and an operation was put in place to arrest Morgan.
In November 2012 cops raided his house on Shandon Park and another property at Loughview Park in Newry.
The unlikely drug dealer immediately held his hands up and admitted everything.
He told surprised detectives that he had only turned to pill pushing to support his family after losing his job as an electrician during the recession.
Morgan even provided police with diary entries and accounts kept on his computer that revealed the extent of his drug dealing.
He was charged with 12 drug offences including possessing Class A and B drugs with intent to supply and importing Class A and B drugs.
Morgan was further charged with concealing £7,483 of criminal property which represented the proceeds of his drug dealing.
At Newry Crown Court last Wednesday the dad of one was sentenced to six months in prison with a further two years on licence.
The court imposed the relatively light jail term after taking the view put forward by Morgan's defence lawyer that the case was somewhat “exceptional” and that he was a reluctant drug dealer who co-operated fully with police.
Earlier the barrister said his client could not be described as a “John Gilligan type figure”, in a reference to the multi-millionaire Dublin based drug dealer.
He also revealed that Morgan, who would use drugs himself, has been clean since his arrest 14 months ago.