South East Wales

Drug dealer Christopher Holloway jailed for 10 years

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Media captionChristopher Holloway used his drug money to fund a "lavish lifestyle"

A man who sold drugs running a "legal high" website made £2.5m from his illegal activity, a court was told.

Christopher Holloway, 32, imported chemicals before mixing and packaging them for sale as "research chemicals", understood by customers to be legal highs, Newport Crown Court heard.

Holloway, from Raglan, admitted charges relating to the import and sale of drugs and money laundering.

He was jailed for 10 years.

More than 8kg of drugs were seized by police with a street value in excess of £3.5m.

Police said Holloway was running a sophisticated operation out of his own home and was selling drugs to people across the world.

Image copyright Gwent police
Image caption Mr Fortey said taking legal highs is like 'playing Russian Roulette with your health'

Holloway earned more than £2.5m which he used to fund an "extremely lavish lifestyle".

The court heard that he took a five-week holiday in Las Vegas, where he spent $40,000 gambling and stayed at expensive hotels such as the Bellagio and MGM Grand, and would hire a Porsche or Lamborghini to "arrive in style".

Holloway pleaded guilty to importation of controlled drugs, possession with intent to supply controlled drugs, supplying controlled drugs and money laundering.

'Dangerous chemicals'

Det Ch Insp Roger Fortey of Gwent Police said drugs seized from Holloway were forensically tested and found to be "far from safe".

Many of the substances seized contained Class A, B and C drugs.

His drug dealing was first detected by Border Agency staff in June 2012.

A package from China was intercepted at the Parcel Force depot in Coventry; it was destined for Raglan and labelled "samples" but contained just under 1kg of a Class B drug.

Image copyright Gwent police
Image caption When police shut down Christopher Holloway's website, he started another

When Holloway was arrested, police found evidence of more than 13,000 sales worldwide, including Scotland, Jersey, Tokyo and California.

Online purchases were even being made while the police were searching his home and Holloway had £1m in his bank account.

Mr Fortey said: "The phrase 'legal highs' portrays an image of the substances being legal and hence safe. These substances contain dangerous, harmful and untested chemicals."

Police closed down Holloway's 'Benzofury' website only for him to create another site to continue selling drugs. This site has also been closed.

Image copyright Gwent police
Image copyright Gwent Police
Image copyright Gwent police

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