A serving soldier was caught supplying high quality cocaine to squaddies in his battalion in Lancashire.
Kingsman Daniel McLoughlin, of Manorbier Crescent, Walton, Merseyside, was jailed for seven years after he admitted selling at least £4,000 of “flake” to colleagues at Weeton Barracks, near Kirkham.
The Afghanistan veteran, 22, sourced the cocaine from drug dealers in Merseyside before flogging it to his pals in the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how he cut the drugs with local anaesthetic Benzocaine, before advertising when he could deliver the drugs on Facebook, text and by email.
The soldier, who joined the Army at 18, claimed: “I’ve been stitched up” when he was arrested at the barracks on November 27 last year.
McLoughlin was accused of being part of a 10-strong conspiracy to supply cocaine in Huyton, Prescot and Crosby from April to November.
He denied the offence and was cleared of the plot by a jury in May, but at the start of the trial admitted a separate four-month conspiracy.
Nine other people pleaded guilty to the main conspiracy and will be sentenced in September.
Prosecuting, Ian Whitehurst said the soldier sold cocaine at the barracks and to friends outside the army.
He said: “Other soldiers mentioned in the trial have been arrested but no charges as yet have been formally made against them.”
Dominic Bell, defending, said McLoughlin suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), triggered by a suicide bomber incident in Afghanistan.
Mr Bell said when he was based at Camp Bastion, McLoughlin’s unit were called to help American troops attacked with an improvised explosive device (IED).
He said: “This defendant was a gunner on the roof of a Mastiff.
“A child of around 13 ran into the area. He activated an IED strapped to himself, causing injuries to American and British soldiers. It was the PTSD that led him to use drugs in the first place.
“Then to fund his own habit, he began the operation that he did. He is going to be dishonourably discharged from the armed forces, he knows that, and it’s shameful for him.”
An Army MOD spokesman confirmed the incident would be “thoroughly investigated” and action taken where necessary.