Barnstaple Snapchat dealer tried to buy drugs from USA

Police officers took a mobile phone image of the scene

Police officers took a mobile phone image of the scene which they posted on the Road Policing Team twitter feed and shows the wrecked Golf and the cottage - Credit: DC Police

A Snapchat cannabis deal was caught with more than £3,000 cash when police spotted him operating outside a town centre pub in North Devon.

Christon Bayliss had almost no cannabis on him but messages on his Facebook and Snapchat accounts showed he had been dealing for months.

He had even tried to source his drugs from Colorado in the United States, which was one of the first places in America to legalise cannabis.

Bayliss was caught in a doorway near a pub in Boutport Street, Barnstaple, in May last year but only prosecuted after police had analysed in phone.

It had messages from customers asking for ‘stinky’ and using street slang terms for the drug, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Bayliss, aged 27, of Sunflower Road, Barnstaple, admitted possession of class B cannabis with intent to supply and was jailed for ten months, suspended for two years and sent on a thinking skills course by Judge Timothy Rose.

He told him he was suspending the sentence because of the good progress Bayliss has made since receiving an earlier suspended sentence for theft and dangerous driving a year ago.

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He said: “You have made exceptional progress and it would be a completely retrograde step to send you to prison today.”

Mr Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said police were watching the area near the Royal Fortescue Hotel on May 27 last year after reports of suspected drug dealing.

He said: “An officer saw a male crouching down in a doorway. He was searched and had a small packet of cannabis weighing 0.25 grams and worth about £2.50.

“He was found with a large quantity of cash including banknotes in a bundle. The total was £3,358.40 and a phone was seized and examined.

“It revealed several conversations on Snapchat and Facebook about the supply of cannabis and a message to a person in Colorado, USA, trying to buy four ounces of cannabis for a price of about £150 after the exchange rate is taken into account.”

He told the police the money was his savings from work but accepted dealing after the messages were found on his phone.

Miss Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said Bayliss has turned his life around and been drug free for 315 days and now has two jobs and regular contact with his young child.

She said reports from probation and his employers showed he had made phenomenal progress.

The new suspended sentence will run alongside one of 14 months imposed by Judge Robert Linford on July 8, 2020.

It followed a 100 mph police chase in July 2019 which ended when he crashed in West Buckland. He and a friend had just stolen £1,288 of copper cables from a BT depot in Barnstaple when he was followed by an unmarked police car.

His passenger was injured when the 400 metres of copper cabling which they had just stolen was thrown forward by the impact. Bayliss left him screaming in pain and tried to run off.

He had four times the safe limit of cannabis in his system and had no licence or insurance.

The chase started on the A361 and he sped at 60 mph through built up areas, went the wrong way round a roundabout, and crossed double white lines.

He turned onto a narrow lane leading towards West Buckland and police followed him at 65 mph before he lost control in the village and crashed.

He reversed back into the chimney breast of a cottage as he tried to get away from a police car which had blocked him in.

The officers took a mobile phone image of the scene which they posted on the Road Policing Team twitter feed and shows the wrecked Golf and the cottage.

Bayliss, admitted dangerous driving, drug driving, theft and having no licence or insurance.

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