A DEALER lied to police that his drugs line phone belonged to his mother after they raided his flat.

Ellis Briggs was 17 when he was arrested in Newport when a search warrant was executed at a property in Caerau Crescent last summer.

Officers seized a mobile phone, weighing scales and £265 in cash from the defendant’s address.

When interviewed by detectives, Briggs initially denied being involved in the drugs trade and claimed the phone “belonged to his mother”, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

Analysis of the phone by the police revealed it contained numerous drug-related messages incriminating him including offers for the sale of “the best cannabis about”.

The defendant sent out text bombs to as many as 36 potential customers at a time and one of them read: “Drop offs anywhere. Get me all night. 3 for 25.”

Briggs, of Beaufort Road, Newport, pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis.

He had a previous conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to supply for which he was sentenced to a referral order.

Tom Roberts, representing Briggs, said in mitigation: “The defendant played a lesser role rather than a significant one.

“There was a degree of naivety and immaturity and there was an expectation of limited if any financial gain.”

Mr Roberts added: “He no longer uses cannabis at all.”

Judge Daniel Williams told the defendant: “Your offence is aggravated by your previous conviction but mitigated by your youth.”

Briggs was sentenced to a 12-month community order.

He must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and complete six sessions of a rehabilitation activity requirement.

The defendants has to pay £340 prosecution costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the phone and the forfeiture of the cash.

There was no application made for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.