A DRUG dealer found with cocaine and cannabis with a street value of up to £16,500 has been jailed for more than three-and-a-half years.

Armed police swooped on the Burbage Road home of Ryan Welland’s runner Daniel Smith in September 2017, having received a tip-off that 27-year-old Welland had a gun.

That firearms report proved to be incorrect. But after sniffing a strong smell of cannabis coming from the house, police searched Smith’s home and uncovered £5,510 in cash in two sports bags, cocaine and cannabis.

That led officers to Welland’s home on Beech Avenue. In his bedroom, they seized another £3,000, cannabis worth up to £2,520 on the street and cocaine that could have sold for up to £14,000 on the street. Weighing scales and other drug paraphernalia was also seized.

A forensic trawl of telephones seized showed messages consistent with dealing. Welland used the phone to arrange to buy the drugs and keep on top of debts owed to him by his customers.

Prosecuting, George Threlfall said: “It was very obvious that certainly Mr Welland was dealing in cocaine and cannabis and Mr Smith, the Crown accepts, was restricted to just dealing in cannabis.”

Interviewed by the police, Welland admitted to dealing cocaine and cannabis.

He said the cash found by detectives belonged to him.

A substantial chunk of the cash was the proceeds of drug dealing.

Smith initially denied involvement, but in a prepared statement later said he was a heavy user of cannabis – spending up to £200 a week on the drug as a form of pain relief after an injury in 2016.

Welland pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply cocaine and cannabis and possession of criminally-acquired cash. Smith admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Emma Handslip, defending, said of Welland: “It’s sadly the same story. Someone who’s smoking cannabis to the level he was runs up a significant debt to somebody who says, ‘you can clear this far quicker with me by selling class A drugs’.

“He was gambling online and had debts. That is how he started dealing.”

Welland was a full-time carer for his mother and had taken responsibility for dealing drugs.

“This is somebody who has turned his life around,” Ms Handslip said.

Smith had begun smoking cannabis after an injury in 2016 stopped him from working. He had multiple operations and turned to the class B drug to help regulate his pain.

He was likened to a broker, introducing his friends to Welland who would drop off the drugs at Smith’s home.

Since 2017, he had returned to work and now had his own company doing sub-contracting.

He had volunteered with charity Swindon Scrapstore.

Ms Handslip questioned why the man supplying Welland – said to be serving a significant prison sentence – had not been charged by police. That dealer was not named in court.

Judge Peter Crabtree acknowledged that the drugs were unlikely to have brought in the high sums set out by the Crown, as they were generally being sold in weights larger than the standard one gramme street deals.

The judge added: “It is plain you were both involved in the supply of drugs. That is criminality that can wreck lives and undermine the fabric of society.”

Welland was jailed for three years and eight months. Smith was sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years, must complete 200 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation activity days.

The pair hugged as Welland was taken to the cells by a dock officer.