Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police sparked last summer's riots, was trying to set up a drugs deal in the weeks before he was killed, a court heard yesterday.
The 29-year-old was shot dead by officers on 4 August last year in Tottenham, north London, moments after getting out of a taxi which had been stopped by armed police. Officers have said Mr Duggan raised a handgun he was hiding in his jacket.
A jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Mr Duggan was looking to sell cannabis and had sought the help of his friend, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster.
Mr Hutchinson-Foster is on trial accused of supplying Mr Duggan with the gun he is alleged to have been wielding before he was shot. The defendant said he had offered to get involved with Mr Duggan on a drugs deal and that in July last year had had a conversation with Mr Duggan and a friend called Mo about it.
Asked by his barrister, Stuart Denney QC, what the thrust of the conversation was, he said: "They knew somebody who was cultivating cannabis and wanted to know if I knew anybody who was interested in buying it. I said if they got me a sample I would give it to my dealer to see if he was interested."
Mr Hutchinson-Foster, 30, of no fixed address, denies passing a modified handgun to Mr Duggan.
The prosecution claims Mr Duggan, who was under police surveillance, had travelled from Hoxton to collect the gun from the defendant in Leyton.
The police marksman who shot Mr Duggan has previously told the court he was "absolutely 100 per cent" he was holding a handgun.
The trial continues.