Teenager who ran a drug dealing ‘cottage industry’ is jailed

A TEENAGER who set up and ran a “cottage industry” supplying cocaine and cannabis has been jailed.

Thomas Lee Mitton, 19, sent out bulk messages via his phone to more than 60 drug users advertising his wares, said Catherine Duffy, prosecuting.

But when a police officer visited his home on a non-drug matter, she smelt cannabis and his drug dealing operation was discovered.

“It is not possible to calculate how much cocaine and cannabis you supplied,” Recorder Ian Harris told Mitton. “It must have been substantial.

“You were in this up to your neck. You were running a cottage industry in Class A and Class B drugs supply for around two months until you were arrested.”

Mitton, of Highfield Villas, Sherburn-in-Elmet, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply them, his first convictions.

He was jailed for two years at York Crown Court sitting in Leeds.

His barrister Eddison Flint said Mitton started selling drugs when he was 17 and turned 18 during his crimes.

“He fell into the lifestyle of selling drugs, hanging out with certain individuals and he no longer associates with them,” he said. “As quickly as he fell into that lifestyle, he has managed to get himself out of it.”

Ms Duffy said the police officer visited Mitton’s home in 2019.

She tracked down the cannabis she smelt to his bedroom and a search of the house revealed 3.74g of cocaine, 1.57g of cannabis and drug dealing paraphernalia.

The cocaine was worth £400 in street deals.

Police also found seven mobile phones.

Mitton refused to give their PIN codes, but police were able to download the contents of one.

They found thousands of drug dealing messages sent to or from 66 people between March 25, 2019, and May 8, 2019.

Mr Flint said Mitton was ashamed and remorseful.

“He made this foolish mistake getting involved with these people and he understands he has got to pay for that,” said the defence barrister.

He had been immature and had changed since his arrest, the court heard.

He had not been convicted of any crime since and, although he had not had a stable job since March, he was hoping to get one.

York Press | News