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Four sentenced for cocaine supply offences

Custody images of Austen Barnes-Sargeant, Carlie Bridges, Kyle Joyner and Paul O'Shea.
Austen Barnes-Sargeant, Carlie Bridges, Kyle Joyner and Paul O'Shea.

Prison sentences totalling more than 20 years have been handed out to four people involved in supplying drugs worth almost half a million pounds.

Large quantities of cocaine and cash were seized by officers over the space of six months last year, as well as cannabis, drug paraphernalia and weapons during searches.

Austen Barnes-Sargeant, Carlie Bridges, Kyle Joyner and Paul O’Shea were all sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday 28 March.

9 March 2023

The first arrest was made in March 2023 when officers pulled over Barnes-Sargeant in Filton amid concerns about his erratic driving. He failed a roadside drugs test and was ultimately sentenced to a 12-month driving ban and a fine in October 2023. However, during roadside and custody searches of him officers found the 31-year-old to be in possession of approximately £3,000 in cash, cocaine and cannabis.

A search of his home address found more class A and class B drugs, a further £4,000 in cash and a stun gun.

During the subsequent investigation, officers found text messages from Barnes-Sargeant which proved his involvement in supplying cocaine.

26 May 2023

Officers carried out a warrant at the home of Bridges in Fitzroy Street, in south Bristol.

A search of the address found a cannabis plant and a small amount of the class B drug. However, in a wheelie bin outside a white powder was recovered, which after testing was found to almost £70,000’s worth of cocaine.

Inside the bag was also a knife, drugs paraphernalia and a tissue which was forensically linked to Joyner.

Bridges’ phone showed the 35-year-old had had involvement in supplying cannabis for over a 12-month period from March 2022.

3 August 2023

The final stage of the three investigations came a couple of months later when police stopped an Audi being driven by Barnes-Sargeant – who was on bail while enquiries into his other drugs offences were ongoing and prior to his driving disqualification – in Bristol.

A search of his car found him to be in possession of approximately half a kilo of cocaine. He was the sole occupant.

Later that same afternoon, we arrested O’Shea, 41. His BMW was searched after being stopped in Tunley, near Bath, and two 1kg blocks of cocaine were seized.

Enquiries showed that both Barnes-Sargeant and O’Shea had been in contact with Joyner prior to being stopped and arrested by police.

A warrant at Joyner’s address in found a further 1.5kg of cocaine, which he’d attempted to hide under ground. Joyner, 30, was arrested at a hotel room in Kent two days later.

In total the four kilos of cocaine seized from the three men was estimated to be worth approximately £320,000.


The four criminals the following sentences after they pleaded guilty to all 16 charges at previous hearings:

  • Barnes-Sargeant received a prison sentence of six years for two counts of possession with intent to supply a class A drug, two counts of being concerned in the supply of a class A drug, one count each of possession of a class A and B drug, acquiring criminal property and possession of a weapon for the discharge of electrical incapacitation device.
  • Bridges was handed sentences, totalling 24 months suspended for two years, for one count each of being concerned with the supply of class A and class B drugs. She must also carry out 70 hours’ unpaid work and 15 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement.
  • Joyner was jailed for eight years and eight months in respect of possession with intent to supply a class A drug, two counts of being concerned in the supply of a class A drug and acquiring criminal property.
  • O’Shea received a custodial sentence of three years for possession with intent to supply a class A drug and being concerned in the supply of a class A drug.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Lavender said: “These sentences concludes a significant policing operation targeting this group of people who were supplying cocaine to the streets of Bristol.

“Evidence was found to show their operation was worth hundreds of thousands of pounds as they sought to profit from other people’s misery brought on by drug use.

“We welcome these prison sentences and will continue to robustly target those involved in drug supply to protect the public and keep our communities safe.

“If you suspect someone in your area is involved in the supply of drugs, please report it to us on 101, or via our online reporting system.”