Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford drug-dealing gang jailed

Five members of a gang responsible for a major drug-dealing operation in Bedford have been jailed.

Luton Crown Court heard the men bought cocaine and heroin in Bradford and brought it to Bedford, ready to prepare for street-sized deals.

Police found 1.4kg of cocaine and 1.23kg of heroin during a raid on a lock-up in May last year.

Cutting agents weighing 40kg meant the gang could have turned out 53kg of high purity cocaine, the court heard.

Domineco Masciopinto, described as the boss of the operation, was jailed for 14 years.

The 31-year-old, of Reddall Close, Bedford, was convicted by a jury last month of two charges of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

'Safe houses'

The four other defendants had pleaded guilty to the two charges of conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

Daniele Digiacomo, 20, of Heather Gardens, Bedford, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Stefano D'Aniello, 29, of Huddleston Way, Bedford, was jailed for seven years

Michael Capone, 27, of Bromham Road, Bedford, was jailed for six years.

James Byrne, 39, of London Road, Northampton, was jailed for four years.

Prosecutor Amjad Malik QC said the gang used two safe houses in Bedford for packaging and distribution.

Judge Barbara Mensah said: "Dealing in heroin and cocaine is odious and pernicious.

"You all played a part in putting substantial quantities of those drugs on the market, causing suffering to others.

"This was a sophisticated operation and every cog in the wheel was important."

Two other people admitted allowing their premises to be used for the supply of drugs.

Christopher Kostarz, 35, of Cardington Road, Bedford and Rosaria Kosijer, 34, of Faraday Square, Bedford were both given a 12-month prison term suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours unpaid work.

The court heard Masciopinto continued his involvement, despite being shot in January last year when he was wrongly accused on Facebook of being a police "grass".

Two brothers were cleared of his attempted murder last year, after Masciopinto refused to give evidence and the judge ruled they had no case to answer.

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