The 'dangerous' criminal who had explosives, a sawn-off shotgun and drugs in his Derbyshire home

Thomas Ball.
Thomas Ball.

A man has been jailed for more than 15 years after officers discovered thousands of pounds of drugs, explosives and a sawn-off shotgun in his Tibshelf home

Officers investigating a claim of harassment against Thomas Ball, 44, attended his home in Back Lane, Tibshelf, on February 27 last year.

Drugs found in Ball's home.

Drugs found in Ball's home.

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The back door to the property was wide open when officers arrived and, on entering the house, a large amount of drugs and cash were found littered around the property.

At the same time officers were making their discovery at the Back Lane property, in nearby High Street, an officer reported to colleagues he had seen a man running down the street - along with two dogs - dressed only in a t-shirt.

The trail led to a house in Peveril Road, Tibshelf, where Ball was located and arrested in relation to the allegation of harassment.

The explosives.

The explosives.

He asked officers to go back to his house to pick up more clothes - where he was further arrested for possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

A full search of the house was completed and officers uncovered further evidence of the level of Ball's criminality.

Recovered from the property were large quantities of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine worth an estimated £80,000, nearly £9,000 in cash and a haul of illicit cigarettes and tobacco totalling around £75,000.

Alongside the drugs and cash officers found a sawn-off shotgun and five sticks of plastic explosives.

The sawn-off shotgun which was recovered by police.

The sawn-off shotgun which was recovered by police.

The bomb squad was called to safely remove the items - which were later confirmed to be civilian blasting explosives.

Ball was sentenced to 15-and-a-half years in prison at Nottingham Crown Court at the end of last month.

Detective Constable Jason Wyatt, who led the investigation, said: "That Thomas Ball is off the streets of Derbyshire is a relief for me, the force and for the law-abiding public of our county.

"Make no mistake, Ball is a dangerous individual who has no compunction in using any means necessary to further his own greed.

"The drugs he sold will have caused untold misery to our communities and it is clear from the other items found in his home how he kept his criminal enterprises in order.

"Sawn-off shotguns like that found have been used to murder, maim and intimidate those who get in the way of criminals such as Ball.

"That he was well-known to police will not come as a shock given what was found in his home and officers from the dedicated Organised Crime Group team worked tirelessly from the time of his arrest, right up to the moment that Ball was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.

"However, while he was known to us, he was also known to those in his own community - and it is to those people that I want to speak now.

"Criminals like Ball are not people to be admired or celebrated.

"He is a man who would not care if someone died overdosing on his drugs, who brought explosives into a residential street where children lived and kept a firearm in a house that was left wide-open for anyone to walk into.

"Ball was able to commit his crimes because the local community either turned a blind eye to it or were so concerned about his reputation that they did nothing to stop him.

"Neither should be allowed to happen.

"Derbyshire Constabulary takes every call in confidence - however, we understand that people may not want to come forward to us.

"For those people there is Crimestoppers - the independent charity where you can easily and anonymously report criminal activity on 0800 555 111.

"Unfortunately we know there are other Thomas Balls out there - but with your help we can ensure that they do not profit from their crimes."

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