Teenager admits drug dealing

Teenager admits drug dealing

12 July 2017

A DOWNPATRICK teenager will be sentenced later this year after admitting drug dealing.

Eighteen year-old Jason Rhodes, of St Patrick’s Drive, was caught with 16 bags of herbal cannabis, £160 in cash and numerous mobile phones when stopped by police on November 1 last year.

He appeared at Downpatrick Court this week charged with two counts of possession of cannabis and one of suppling the drug.

The court was told police stopped Rhodes on the Killyleagh Road just after midnight when they saw him walking with a friend and carrying a bottle of alcohol.

Police smelled cannabis and then Rhodes ran off, a prosecution lawyer explained.

When the police caught up with him, they found he was in possession of the bags of herbal cannabis, cash and multiple mobile phones that had drug-related messages on them. 

Police also searched his home and found more cannabis, small plastic bags and scales.

The total cannabis found was worth more than £400.

Defence solicitor, Joe Mulholland, said Rhodes had got involved with “a bad peer group” at that time, but was now going to stay out of trouble and go to college in the autumn. 

He said this was “very much low-level” drug supplying, which was “to a very small group of friends and peer group.”

District Judge Mr Greg McCourt said he was concerned there were so many text messages related to drugs sent from Rhodes’ mobile phones over a long period of time.

“This sort of involvement in drugs is spreading it to young people,” the judge said.

“I want to prevent him from doing it in the future.

“He should be warned off so that he doesn’t leave court and start dealing again,” Mr McCourt said.

He adjourned sentencing in the matter until October 26 to allow time for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and to see if Rhodes can stay out of further trouble.