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Gloucestershire Business News

Drug dealer who mocked police is sentenced

A Gloucester drugs dealer who taunted police on Facebook while on the run was jailed on Tuesday, February 14.

Joshua Bennetts, aged 30 and of Armscroft Road, Gloucester, was convicted of supplying cocaine across Gloucestershire after pleading guilty in court last year.

Police had put out a wanted appeal for his arrest last May after he breached a court order.

Bennetts complained on the Facebook post about the custody image that was being used and said police "coulda (sic) used a better picture".

He also commented that he was an inch taller than he had been described in his wanted appeal and took photos of himself at locations around the county and posted them to social media.

Bennetts was caught a few weeks later after he was spotted by officers in Gloucestershire.

He initially denied the drug charges but later admitted in court to the supply of cocaine and cannabis.

Officers discovered evidence of Bennetts' drug supplying on his phone, after finding conversations and photographs giving details of his dealings.

In mitigation, the court was told that Bennetts had a serious gambling addiction as well as a personal drug habit. Since his arrest, he is now free of drugs and has been attending support groups for gambling addicts.

Appearing at Gloucester Crown Court on February 14, Bennetts was sentenced to two years for the supply of cocaine and 12 months for the supply of cannabis, to run concurrently.

Detective Constable Freya Smith said: "Bennetts showed his contempt for police with his taunts on social media while on the run.

"He may have thought himself a joker, but in reality Bennetts was bringing misery to communities with his drug dealing.

"I would like to thank everyone who helped us in our hunt for him, and with Bennetts now behind bars, that they will feel justice has been served."

If you suspect drug dealing or have witnessed suspicious activity taking place in your community, you can report it to either Crimestoppers anonymously or to police.

You can report this to police by using the online form.

Alternatively, you can give information anonymously to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

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