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Bristol Post
Bristol Post
Geoffrey Bennett

Man caught trafficking drugs three times as a teenager jailed

A teenager with two previous convictions for drug trafficking has been jailed. Riaz Lewis had been caught trafficking drugs aged both 17 and 18, but after being caught a third time aged 19, he is now in jail.

Lewis, now 20, of Jamaica Street in Kingsdown, was spotted by police dealing drugs in St Pauls. He fled but was arrested, Bristol Crown Court heard.

He pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply as well as possessing criminal property in August last year. Judge Euan Ambrose jailed him for 2,045 days. He told Lewis: "You are an experienced criminal even though you are only 20 years of age.

READ MORE: 'Drugged up' window cleaner chased by police

"You knew exactly what you were getting yourself into. You could have walked away but you chose not to."

The judge ordered that drugs and a knife recovered in the case be destroyed. He also ordered £458.70 cash recovered be forfeited.

Giles Nelson, prosecuting, said police spotted Lewis dealing, gave chase and arrested him. A search of his home uncovered 56g of cocaine, a large knife, plastic bags, weighing scales, a mobile phone with incriminating messages and £458.70.

Lewis made no comment when interviewed. The court heard due to his two previous drug trafficking convictions he qualified as a "third strike" offender.

Lewis' barrister Miss Collier cited her client's guilty pleas and remorse, young age, coercion and delay in sentence as matters which, together, could put the case into an exceptional circumstances bracket. She said her client had been prone to grooming and exploitation and he lacked maturity.

She also said delay in the case, which included barristers' industrial action and a lack of a pre-sentence report, meant that on remand he had already served the equivalent of a 12-month sentence.

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