Highlands & Islands

Texts and Snapchat conversation revealed drugs offences

Man using mobile generic Image copyright Thinkstock

Text messages and a conversation on social media site Snapchat revealed two Inverness men's involvement in dealing drugs, a court has heard.

Conor Bennett, 24, whose father Graeme Bennett is a former vice-chairman of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, has been jailed for five years and nine months.

Daniel Hunter, 26, has been jailed for four years for his part in supplying drugs.

The messages between the two men were found on phones seized by police.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Bennett and Hunter admitted to being concerned in the supply of ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis between February 2014 and April 2015.

Police were alerted to the men's offending by information on Hunter's phone, which had been seized in connection with another matter.

'Instant messages'

Prosecutor David Taylor said: "The examination of the mobile phone obtained from Hunter revealed messages that clearly evidence the large scale supply of controlled drugs.

"Data from Hunter's phone contains several hundred messages indicative of supply.

"Those messages - in the format of texts, social media and instant messages - provide a history of business transaction.

"This is in terms of sourcing, advertisement of product, ratings, sub-dealers, orders, customer service and debt recovery."

Hunter also at times supplied his own bank account details for "customers" to pay.

Bennett was later held by police in connection with an unrelated matter, the court heard.

Officers seized almost £3,000 in cash from him before information was received that he was also involved in drug trafficking.

His home in Inverness was searched and £12,000 was found stuffed inside pockets of a jacket.

Police also found three mobile phones.

'Child's cup'

As the police investigation was stepped up, further raids took place in April last year, the court was told.

More than £2,000 in cash was found at Bennett's house - including in a child's bedroom.

Two iPhones and an iPad were also discovered containing information relating to drug dealing.

On a mobile found at Hunter's home in Inverness was a Snapchat conversation between the pair discussing cocaine and a £600 sum.

About 20 ecstasy tablets were also found in a child's drinking cup.

Mr Taylor told the court: "It is evident from the content of the phones recovered that Bennett was orchestrating the distribution of Class A and B drugs to Hunter.

"Hunter was, in turn, supplying these commodities and weights to sub dealers within the Inverness area.

"The phones seized clearly indicate Hunter collecting thousands of pounds from the sale of drugs, which, in turn, is paid to Bennett."

Bennett told police that cash officers found came from winning a football bet.

The court heard that when Bennett was 18 he was jailed for his part in supplying cocaine in the Highlands.

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