A dealer who operated a prolific drugs hotline – supplying crack cocaine and heroin in Oldham – has lost an appeal against his prison sentence.
Ryan Robinson, 29, of Moor Street, Shaw, pleaded guilty to conspiracies to supply the drugs over an 18-month period up to February last year.
He was in control of a hotline mobile telephone, which advertised drugs for sale and directed users and street dealers to deals.
During the 18-month period, the phone was used for 55,000 calls and 27,000 text messages, suggesting thousands of deals took place.
Robinson was ultimately jailed for six-and-a-half years at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court last May.
Upholding the sentence, a Court of Appeal judge said it was deserved for serious drug dealing.
“This was not a case where he stood on a street corner and sold one or two deals,” said Mrs Justice McGowan. “This was commercial dealing.”
The London court heard the police investigation had been centred around the phone number, which linked users, street dealers and Robinson.
Many of the text messages went to a group of more than 100 contacts, offering to supply Class A drugs.
When phones were seized from known drug users, Robinson’s number was often among their contacts.
The judge, sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Judge Anthony Leonard QC, rejected Robinson’s lawyers’ claims that his sentence was too tough.
Although it was impossible to say how much cocaine and heroin had been supplied, thousands of deals must have taken place, she said.
“This was a commercial enterprise within which cars were hired and individuals were directed to take drugs and sell them to drug users,” she continued.
“The telephone which was consistently under the control of Robinson was the central feature of this organisation.
“That showed group texts being sent to hundreds of dealers and users inviting them to make contact in order to purchase drugs.
“There is nothing in the term imposed which is wrong in principle or manifestly excessive. This appeal must be dismissed.”