Wales

Caernarfon drugs gang boss Gavin Thorman jailed for 12 years

Defendants
Image caption Guilty: Sentences range from 12 years to a 10-month suspended sentence

The leader of a 26-strong drugs gang which operated in north Wales has been jailed for 12 years.

The judge said Gavin Thorman, 36, controlled a conspiracy which had done incalculable harm to Caernarfon.

The gang were sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday.

The five-year covert investigation called Operation Yonside has been one of North Wales Police's biggest probes. It led to the seizure of almost £200,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis.

Thorman used the threat of violence to head up the network, the hearing was told.

And one of his lieutenants collected the drugs money while Thorman was in jail.

Police had a breakthrough when he boasted in Welsh about "making millions this time" while in prison, saying no-one could understand.

The police operation, involving several other forces, began after the seizure of £70,000 worth of cocaine in Caernarfon in 2009.

The defendants, mostly from Caernarfon as well as Manchester, pleaded guilty or were convicted of charges relating to the supply of the drugs.

Thorman arranged the supply of drugs from suppliers in Liverpool and Manchester, prosecution counsel Jayne La Grua told judge Merfyn Hughes QC.

In all, 48 mobile phones were found to belong to Thorman.

Image copyright North wales police
Image caption Gang leader: Gavin Thorman, 36, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for 12 years

Gang members

  • James Dylan Davies, 41, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed eight years and six months
  • Richard Broadley, 34, originally from Stockport, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed six years and eight months
  • Adam Roberts, 33, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for eight years
  • Christopher Taylor, 29, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for eight years and three months
  • Dylan Hughes, 30, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for nine years
  • Gavin Hughes, 29, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine - jailed six years and eight months
  • Yasmin Owen, 25, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to money laundering - jailed for 12 months
  • Jonathan White, 32, from Caernarfon found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis and having an imitation firearm in a public place - jailed for 11 years
  • Martin Taylor, 26, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for 40 months
  • Julian Williams, 40, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to allowing home to be used to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for 40 weeks
  • Dawn Williams, 47, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to allowing home to be used to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for 14 months
  • Paul Hughes, 36, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for four years and eight months
  • Martin Shaw, 32, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for 20 months
  • Ryan Williams, 34, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to money laundering, entering into an arrangement concerning criminal property - jailed for three and a half years
  • Gethin Ellis, 23, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for four years
  • Rizuan Hussain, 28, from Rochdale was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for six years
  • James Whitworth, 30, from Manchester found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for 12 years
  • Anthony Ferguson, 20, from Manchester pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for six years and eight months
  • Gregory Appleby, 20, from Manchester pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for two years
  • Jake Crooks, 23, from Manchester pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for 16 months
  • Patrick Tynan, 23, from Manchester pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis - jailed for four years
  • Anthony Hunt, 30, from Manchester guilty of conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for 16 months
  • Ian Ogden, 26, from Manchester pleaded guilty of conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for 16 months
  • Samuel Hughes, 28, from Manchester pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis - jailed for 18 months
  • Nicole Herbert, 29, from Caernarfon pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge - given a 10-month sentence suspended for 18 months

Passing sentence, the judge said: "Both in its structure and extent, it can be described as a large scale and sophisticated conspiracy."

The sentencing hearing began on Tuesday.

Richard Broadley, originally from Stockport, was described as one of Thorman's lieutenants, until the pair fell out.

His DNA was found on a pair of rubber gloves seized in November 2009 along with cocaine worth £69,400.

Adam Roberts, 33, from Caernarfon, was also described as another of Thorman's lieutenants, collecting drug money for him while he was in Liverpool's Altcourse prison.

Christopher Taylor, 29, from Caernarfon, was described as a courier and dealer whose home at 58 Pool Street, Caernarfon, was used as the gang's headquarters throughout 2013 and 2014, the court was told.

When his vehicle was seized in August 2014, it was found to contain £14,980.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The defendants were sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday

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