Wales

Llanelli and Aberystwyth drugs gang: 28 members jailed

28 defendants Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption The gang supplied drugs in Llanelli and Aberystwyth

Twenty-eight members of a drugs gang involved in a multi-million pound ring have been jailed, police have confirmed.

The gang supplied a "staggering" amount of Class A drugs in Llanelli as well as Aberystwyth in Ceredigion.

Drugs deaths in both towns between 2014 and 2017 sparked Operation Ulysses to tackle to the drugs ring.

The gang was sentenced to between three and 16 years at Swansea Crown Court following guilty pleas.

Dyfed-Powys Police said the gang conspired to supply in excess of 20kg of heroin and cocaine, along with MDMA, cannabis and ketamine throughout Wales.

The force said the defendants were operating from within north Wales, south west Wales and also with another group based in Liverpool.

They were described as a sophisticated group dealing on an industrial scale and "executed their criminal enterprise with precision".

Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption Some of the drugs seized by officers

Judge Paul Thomas said it had been a "colossal and exceptional investigation".

In a statement released after the court case, Dyfed-Powys Police said Operation Ulysses was set up to "tackle the scourge of Class A drugs and to prevent further tragedies".

"Today marks the successful outcome after 28 defendants have been sentenced to more than 193 years in prison between them," the force said.

Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption Drugs were pulled from the undergrowth by police
Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption A tube of drugs was also found by officers investigating the gang

Det Sgt Rhys Jones, of the serious and organised crime team, said: "There is a human cost to the trade of supplying drugs, and we will work tirelessly to stop this.

"I hope these sentences send out a clear, unequivocal message to those involved in supplying and distributing drugs.

"There is nowhere to hide."

Gemma Vincent, senior prosecutor at CPS Wales, said: "Drugs are a blight on communities throughout Wales. They can have a devastating effect on individuals and their families.

"The CPS will continue to work with the police to tackle criminals that are involved in this destructive activity."

Sentences for all guilty pleas

Jonathan Thorne (Llanelli) - 16 years for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Ryan Kenny (Penmaenmawr, Conwy) - 14 years for four counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Christopher Inglesby (Colwyn Bay) - 13 years for three counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Frances Powell (Llanelli) - 12 years for one count of conspiracy to supply drugs

Joshua Water (Aberystwyth) - 10 years for three counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Gerwyn Bailey (Llandudno Junction) - 8 years for four counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Max Hampson (Dwygyfylchi, Conwy) - 8 years for four counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Declan Williams (Colwyn Bay) - 8 years for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Christopher Morris (Liverpool) - 8 years for one count of conspiracy to supply drugs

Robert Williams (Llanelli) - 7 years 5 months for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Howard Jones (St Asaph, Denbighshire) - 6 years 8 months for three counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Christopher Twist (Llandudno) - 6 years 8 months for three counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Callum Pritchard (Aberystwyth) - 6 years for five counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Matthew Baldock (Abergele, Conwy) - 6 years for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Michael Lewis (Colwyn Bay) - 6 years for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Natalie Wilson (Llanelli) - 5 years 8 months for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Ryan Mercer (Llanelli) - 5 years 4 months for one count of conspiracy to supply drugs

Ashley Mercer (Llandudno Junction) - 5 years 4 months for four counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Hardev Singh (Colwyn Bay) - 5 years for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Jody Moore (Colwyn Bay) - 4 years 8 months for three counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Jarod Jones (Llandudno Junction) - 4 years 6 months for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

John Kenny (Penmaenmawr, Conwy) - 4 years 4 months for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Seorse Bailey (Llandudno) - 4 years 4 months for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Joseph George (Aberystwyth) - 4 years for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Sam James (Aberystwyth) - 4 years for five counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Leroy Numa (Aberystwyth) - 3 years 8 months for four counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

Liam Antwiss (Aberystwyth) - 3 years 8 months for two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs

James Wright (Liverpool) - 3 years 6 months for one count of conspiracy to supply drugs

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