Simon Lambert, 39, known as Pie Man or Pie Head to dealers and associates in Scarborough, operated a dealer line to peddle cocaine and cannabis, York Crown Court heard.
Over a seven-month period between August 2021 and March this year, Lambert, from Southcliffe, was arrested on six separate occasions after police found cocaine and phones on known drug users showing “broadcast” messages sent out by a man nicknamed “Pie Head”, said prosecutor Brooke Morrison.
During subsequent searches of Lambert’s home and vehicle in Scarborough, police found stashes of cannabis and cocaine along with drug paraphernalia and bundles of cash.
He was arrested and quizzed, but released under investigation on each occasion, leaving him free to continue his “dealer line” using different phones after using his Facebook page to warn his many customers not to contact him on the previous numbers.
Ms Morrison said Lambert was first arrested on September 3 last year after police came across several known drug users in Scarborough who were found with cocaine and a contact in their phones whose number they traced to a man known as Pie Man or Pie Head.
Investigations revealed that this number had been used to send out broadcast messages advertising the sale of cocaine and cannabis to about 30 drug users.
Police searched Lambert’s home and seized a cannabis stash, dealer bags, three mobile phones and £720 cash.
They also found herbal cannabis and another mobile inside his car.
The phone contained messages and contacts indicative of drug-dealing.
He was released under investigation and immediately posted a message on his Facebook page telling his customers that police had taken his phone and asking them to delete all his telephone numbers.
Lambert resumed his trade seamlessly and simply used a new phone and different number to send out more broadcast messages, using “well-known symbols relating to the sale of cannabis and cocaine”.
Police were tracking Lambert’s phone communications and carrying out observations on his home.
They found that his number had been saved as “Pie”.
He was arrested again on October 21 and found with an iPhone on which he had been sending out the block messages.
He was released under investigation again and posted another Facebook message telling his customers not to text or call him.
A police emoji was included with the message in case his customers didn’t get the point.
He was arrested a third time about a week later when police searched his home again and found £380 cash, 3.64g of cocaine and allegedly two of his customers’ credit cards.
He was brought in for questioning yet again and released under investigation.
He was arrested again on January 31 this year when police again searched his home and found more dealer bags, weighing scales and £935 cash.
“Again he was arrested, interviewed and released under investigation,” said Ms Morrison.
He was arrested for a fifth time on March 22 when officers seized yet another phone from another known drug user and found more broadcast messages sent out by Lambert from a third phone.
Again, the messages had been saved under the name Pie Man and one of them came with a pie emoji.
He was arrested again on March 15 when police stopped his car on Scalby Road.
They found 8g of cocaine and cash inside the vehicle.
A preliminary drug-driving test showed he was positive for cocaine, but Lambert refused to provide a blood sample for analysis.
He was arrested again and finally charged with four offences including being concerned in the supply of cocaine, possessing cocaine with intent to supply, possessing cannabis with intent to supply and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
The father-of-two, of St Martin’s Square, appeared for sentence on Tuesday, May 10.
The court heard he had been sending the broadcast messages to between 20 and 30 regular customers during his dealing operation.
Police seized a total of £2,035 cash from him.
Ms Morrison said Lambert had 33 previous convictions for 75 offences including cannabis production and drug-driving.
Stephen Grattage, for Lambert, claimed there was “clear evidence of people above the defendant in the (drug) chain” and that his client was street-dealing to pay off a debt.
But judge Sean Morris described Lambert’s “dealer-line” operation as a “determined period of drug-dealing” and rubbished the idea that he was working under orders from others.
He told Lambert: “It was a business and it was your business, with your own custom base and God knows what misery you have caused by your dealing.
"You were arrested again and again and again, and you carried on (swapping) phones, dealing.”
Lambert will serve half of the four-year sentence behind bars before being released on prison licence.
He was also given a five-year driving ban.