Drug dealer chances upon £50m cocaine that washed up on beach

L-R: Julian Underhill and the stash of cocaine
L-R: Julian Underhill and the stash of cocaine

A low level drug dealer who jumped at the chance to help himself to a share of £50million’s worth of cocaine washed up on a beach has avoided jail.

Julian Underhill text a friend to say he had ‘found Willy Wonka’s golden ticket’ when he spotted some of the 794lb (360kg) of Class A drug spread across beaches in Caister-on-Sea and Hopton-on-Sea near Great Yarmouth in February.

Norwich Crown Court heard Underill, 34, took around a kilo of the cocaine, worth between ‘£20,000 and £30,000’ before police confiscated it in February.

He used a small amount himself and dealt some to other people over a period of three weeks.

Police searched his house in Charles Close, Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk, and found the drugs, along with £5,000 of cannabis in a safe. He is believed to have dealt the cannabis to friends.

Prosecuting, Martin Ivory told the court Underhill claimed to have found two one-kilo packages, each of which had already been broken into before he found them.

He said: ‘The defendant, in his text messages to another individual, effectively said he had stumbled upon what he described as Willy Wonka’s golden ticket and speculated he could be £20,000 to £30,000 better-off based on what he found on the beach.

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