Thursday, March 8, 2012
Colwyn Bay - Jail for 22 members of two north Wales drugs gangs
Twenty two people have been jailed for supplying thousands of pounds worth of drugs in north Wales.
Caernarfon Crown Court heard they were members of two gangs who ran "a large scale and professional operation."
One was led by Paul Williams, 37 from Bangor, was already in prison but used mobile phones smuggled to him to keep his operation going.
The other was headed by David Jones, 31, who operated in Llandudno Junction and Colwyn Bay.
The court heard a major police operation involving 17 undercover officers had led to the seizure of drugs worth more than £400,000 and £50,000 in cash.
Those involved were secretly filmed and recorded.
Williams was jailed for another six years consecutive to his existing nine-year jail term.
The court had heard Williams had access to seven mobile phones while at Altcourse prison in Liverpool.
One phone disguised as a wristwatch had been passed onto him. At least one handset had been flushed down the cell lavatory by him to thwart a search.
Jones of Llandudno Junction, who played a leading role in the supply of heroin and cocaine, was jailed for 10 years.
Philip Savin, 33, of Altway, Liverpool, another ringleader, was jailed for 12 years.
Prison terms of between 15 months and 10-and-a-half years were imposed on other defendants.
They included a man who sold drugs while looking after a child in a pushchair.
Judge Merfyn Hughes QC said: "For a period of about six months from November 2010 to May 2011 a large-scale, professional and well-organised operation was established."
He said Class A drugs were sourced from Liverpool and Sheffield with a view to their distribution in north Wales.
The judge praised the police operation, which led to guilty pleas from all the accused, and said surveillance work was difficult and sometimes dangerous.
Speaking after the sentences Suzanne Thomas of the Crown Prosecution Service said it was one of the largest drugs investigation and prosecution cases in Wales in recent years.
She said: "North Wales police deserve tremendous credit for the meticulous and thorough manner in which they led the original investigation into this gang.
"We hope that these sentences will serve to deter those who think they can blight our communities by peddling illegal drugs."