When police carried out an early morning raid on the Kempston home of Romeo Aceto they found quantities of cocaine, cannabis and a taser.
That was in August of last year and on Tuesday (13 October) the 58-year-old appeared for sentence, having been remanded in custody since then.
Luton Crown Court was told in that time Aceto had become a model inmate within Bedford Prison.
The court was told it was on 21 August last year, police armed with a search warrant and acting on intelligence, went to the home of Aceto in Birchdale Avenue in Kempston.
After forcing their way into the property, Aceto, who was on his own, was asked if he had anything in the house he shouldn’t have.
Prosecutor Douglas Page said he replied, “A taser in the living room and some weed in a cupboard.”
A search of the property began and police quickly found two sets of scales, a cannabis grinder and two small quantities of cannabis.
A bigger bag of cannabis was then discovered in a cupboard, before the taser was found behind some cushions on the sofa where Aceto had been sitting when the police burst through the door.
As the search continued 12.6 grams of cocaine was found in a kitchen cupboard.
Mr Page said mobile phones belonging to the defendant were seized and on one some messages were found which showed he was supplying cannabis.
Following his arrest he was interviewed by officers and said half the drugs found belonged to him and half to someone else
The court heard he then claimed the night before the police raid he had been visited at his home by three men who had threatened him.
He said after they had left he noticed they had dropped the taser and it had been his intention to hand it in to the police.
However, said Mr Page, officers also found on Aceto’s phone a photo of a taser which appeared to be the one they had found.
The digital info that came with the image showed it had been taken in April of 2019 – four months earlier.
Mr Page said it was the crown’s case that while Aceto may not have been a “major dealer” he was running his own own operation where he would have expected financial gain.
He said Aceto had the taser to be used if the need arose to protect his investment in the drugs and any money.
Defending Grace Forbes said Acero had been supplying on a small scale to friends and acquaintances.
She said he had been a heavy user of cannabis at the time and although it was smoked for recreational use, he had used some for the relief of persistent back pain.
However, said the barrister, while in prison on remand he had beaten his cannabis addiction and had become a model inmate helping in the smooth running of the jail.
Aceto, who speaks four different languages, had been acting as a translator in the jail for fellow inmates and had taken a listening course so that he could help prisoners.
Miss Forbes said while in prison Aceto lost an uncle to Covid-19 and his own father who is 88 is now very ill and nearing the end of his life
She said he was now worried he wouldn’t be able to see his father before he passed away.
Aceto pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply, possessing cannabis with intent to supply, possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing a firearm when prohibited.
He was given a 36 month prison sentence, less the 418 days he has spent on remand.