Dealer used Barnstaple betting account to launder drug money

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A former Barnstaple man has been jailed for helping a drug dealer launder his profits through a betting account. 

Craig Ballantyne paid in £1,500 in two transactions at a Coral branch in Barnstaple to pay for the teenaged dealer’s gambling habit. 

The money came from selling heroin and crack on the streets of North Devon, Exeter Crown Court was told. 

Ballantyne, aged 32, formerly of Hughes Avenue, Barnstaple, but now of Oxford, admitted two counts of transferring criminal property and one of failing to answer bail. 

He was jailed for a total of 36 weeks by Judge Timothy Rose, who said his sentence would run alongside one he is already serving for offences in Oxfordshire. 

He told him: “You assisted this dealer for a short period of time and also provided him with an address. This offence is made worse by your involvement in drug dealing activities.” 

He said the sentence could not be suspended because Ballantyne is already in prison. 

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Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said Ballantyne made payments of £1,000 and £500 into the bank account of a suspected dealer on February 19 and 22, 2019. 

Police observed the dealer selling to known users in Barnstaple and arrested Ballantyne the next day with a receipt for a £500 payment into a Coral account in his pocket. 

Inquiries revealed he had made the larger payment a few days earlier. He told police he did it in return for drugs to feed a £30 to £40 a day habit. 

Barry White, defending, said £150 of the second payment was Ballantyne’s own money, which he owed for drugs he had bought from the dealer. 

He said that although he was much older than the 19-year-old dealer, he was acting under his directions and the younger man had the power within their relationship because he was supplying Ballantyne with drugs. 

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