A FATHER who “exploited” his stepson after recruiting him into his drug dealing operation has been jailed.

Nathan Jones, 31, put teenager Joshua Jones, 18, to work trafficking cocaine in the Gwent Valleys.

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Prosecutor Nicholas Gedge told Cardiff Crown Court: “Joshua Jones was acting under the direction of his stepfather.

“He became involved when he was 17 and had turned 18 a month before his arrest.

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“Nathan Jones was using his stepson to arrange the delivery of controlled drugs.

“He played a significant role and employed other people in this operation.”

Mr Gedge said that when the police raided the duo’s home in Ebbw Vale last September “other members of the family were present”.

Officers found 26.5g of cocaine with a potential street value of £2,580 and more than £4,000 in cash.

A mobile phone was also seized which contained drug-related messages referring to customers' orders throughout Blaenau Gwent.

Nathan Jones, of Heol Derw, Brynmawr, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Joshua Jones, of Chandlers Road, Beaufort, Ebbw Vale, admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possessing the class A drug with intent to supply.

Nathan Jones, the court was told, had been to prison before but had no similar previous convictions for drug dealing.

He had driving offences and violent disorder on his record.

Joshua Jones was a man of previous good character with no previous convictions.

Stephen Jones, representing Nathan Jones, asked the court to take into account his guilty plea.

Laurence Jones, for Joshua Jones, said: “The defendant was exploited by his stepfather who got him involved in drug dealing.

“He is a bright lad and it is very sad to see him before the court in these circumstances.

“It is likely he will never appear before the court again in my respectful submission.”

Nathan Jones was jailed for three years and nine months.

Judge Daniel Williams told Joshua Jones: “You know you shouldn’t be here.

“Do this again and you are going down for a long time.”

The teenager was sent to a young offender institution for 16 months, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community and complete a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Both defendants are set to face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing later this year.