Rhyl gangster John Gizzi in police poster campaign

North Wales Police poster showing John Gizzi gang
Image caption John Gizzi's gang tried to bring cocaine into Wales - all are now behind bars

A poster campaign featuring the faces of a drugs gang jailed for 66 years has been launched by North Wales Police.

The posters warn: "Serious Crime... Serious Time" - highlighting the face of Rhyl criminal John Gizzi.

The 39-year-old was jailed for 11 years earlier this month after he admitted conspiring to bring cocaine into Wales.

Police say they hope the billboards in areas where the drugs gang operated will act as a deterrent to others considering a life of crime.

"We want to highlight to those involved in drugs, their families and associates, that no matter how small a part they play in a drugs operation the North Wales Police will seek to bring them before the courts," said Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard.

"Increasing the supply of drugs to an area causes a rise in drug use and can lead to an increase in crime to pay for the drugs. This increase in crime disrupts the lives of many law abiding people in the community."

The posters are being placed in and around Rhyl, Pensarn and Colwyn Bay.

'Thug' and 'bully'

The towns are the areas where most of the 10 members of the jailed drugs gang lived and operated.

Gizzi, who lived at St George near Abergele when he was jailed, had been under surveillance by police after being released from a five-and-a-half year prison term in 2009.

The criminal portrayed himself as a builder, while living a millionaire's lifestyle.

He was convicted in 2006 for beating up two homeless men with wooden staves.

Image caption Gizzi was jailed in 2006 for beating homeless men

At the time he was described by the courts as a "thug" and "bully".

Nine other members of his drug smuggling operation were jailed for between four-and-a-half years and nine years when they were sentenced in Caernarfon earlier this month.

ACC Pritchard added: "North Wales Police will continue to target those who deal in controlled drugs and those who help these dealers in anyway, they need to understand the extremely high risks they are taking.

"We will continue in our efforts to bring drug dealers before the Courts and also look closely at opportunities to take away their property through the proceeds of crime legislation."

Gizzi still faces a proceeds of crime hearing, which will attempt to recover money made during his criminal activities.

The posters showing his face have also been paid for through proceeds of crime cash.

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