Boasting Exmouth drug dealer is jailed
PUBLISHED: 11:10 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:10 30 November 2018
A boasting drug dealer from Exmouth has been jailed after he bragged to friends that he was selling half a kilogram of cannabis a week.
Ben Hellicker, from Withycombe Raleigh, was caught with £1,150 cash and notes on his mobile phone showed he was owed around £2,000 by 12 regular customers.
He was jailed at Exeter Crown Court after a police drug’s expert spent three hours in the witness box translating street slang in 30 pages of texts.
Drugs liaison officer Louise Weston identified texts with referred to crack and flake, meaning cocaine, and bud, weed, stink, afghan kush, and green, all relating to cannabis.
Hellicker claimed he was only dealing on a small scale to friends in Exmouth, but the texts showed he had a sizeable cannabis business and had just started selling much smaller quantities of cocaine when he was arrested in February.
A judge had to decide Hellicker’s place in the chain of command at a fast finding hearing because the prosecution rejected his assertions about being a minor player.
Among the texts were messages in which he negotiated to buy a kilogram of cannabis for £5,200 and told the supplier “I’m doing half a K a week.”
Hellicker, aged 20, of Green Close, Exmouth, admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and offering to supply cocaine, and was jailed for two years and five months by Recorder Mr Jonathan Barnes.
He told Hellicker: “You started dealing to feed your own habit but it is quite clear that over two or three months you were supplying cannabis on a moderately commercial scale. I suspect it may have been a rather larger enterprise, but I sentence you on the basis it was comparatively small.
“I accept your principal business was in dealing in cannabis but on two occasions you supplied cocaine to others on a commercial basis and you were doing it to make money.”
Mr Greg Richardson, prosecuting, said police raided Hellicker’s home on February 17 this year and seized 37.7 grams of cannabis worth £377, snap bags, and £1,150 cash.
Mr Richardson said: “He was a commercial drug dealer in both cannabis and cocaine over a significant period of time. Phones were seized and examined. Most of the messages were about cannabis but some referred to cocaine.”
Miss Felicity Payne, defending, said Hellicker was dealing to support his own very heavy cannabis habit and was not making any profit because all the money went back to his supplier.
She said his cocaine dealing was on a very small scale compared to the cannabis. He was buying cocaine on behalf of friends who were sharing the costs.
Miss Payne said: “The messages show he used an element of bravado because he was trying to present a sort of persona to the people he was talking to.”