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Drugs gang brought heroin worth millions into South Wales

  1. jon-q
    A gang will be jailed today for bringing drugs with a street value worth millions of pounds onto the streets of South Wales.

    The illegal operation was halted by specialist police units who tracked the heroin trade from a warehouse in Manchester to meeting points in Cardiff.

    At the heart of the business was a man known to his associates as Ratty, prosecutor Nicholas Gedge told Cardiff Crown Court yesterday.

    Ritesh Patel, 28, of Brithdir Street, Cardiff, had a black convertible Bentley parked outside his terraced home at the centre of the city’s student area Cathays and talked of his dreams to save £1m a year.

    His lawyer yesterday told the court the ambition was just a pipe dream and that the Bentley and other luxury cars were hired, not bought.

    Patel has admitted receiving 29 deliveries of the class A drug over an eight-month period – each consignment weighing two or three kilos.

    Prosecutors claim those amounts would have been worth almost £4m if reduced for sale to very small deals.

    But John Charles Rees QC, for Patel, said he was a wholesaler, not a street dealer, and would have sold on his supplies for less than half that amount, leaving him with only a small profit after taking out his buying costs.

    “He accepts he’s dealt in substantial quantities, but we are not talking massive amounts.

    “He was not the importer or even one-removed from the importer and, although he likes driving luxurious cars, he hired them for a month, he didn’t buy them.

    “He was further down the chain and the heroin had already been cut to one-third purity by the time it reached him.”

    Large amounts of “cutting agent” used to increase the drugs’ bulk before sale were found at a poultry farm outside Manchester, from where the heroin began its journey south.

    Mr Gedge said: “The evidence is that if all the adulterants found at the farm had been used, then heroin worth £19m could have been produced.”

    Cardiff cabbie Mohammed Hussain, 28, of Redhouse Road, Ely, Cardiff, admitted making 60 trips to the North-West carrying cash to pay for the class A drugs.

    Mr Gedge said: “He undertook frequent trips after removing the taxi signs from his car.”

    The court heard that journeys north with money would result in others making the journey south with heroin the following day.

    Officers from the All Wales Task Force and Serious Organised Crime Agency set up surveillance, covert recordings and vehicle number recognition to observe meetings taking place at locations across Cardiff, including the Birchgrove pub, Techniquest at Cardiff Bay, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Newport Road, the car park of the Majestic wine warehouse on North Road and the Coach and Horses at Castleton.

    The police’s “Operation Texas” ended on June 17 last year when a car was stopped near Ross on Wye and drugs seized from inside.

    Heroin worth up to £470,000 was found at the farm along with drug presses and packing equipment.

    Patel and Hussain, who have no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin, as did Anthony Clarke, 50, of Glyncollen, Caerphilly; Daniel Bowyer, 22, Bishpool View, Newport; Pinakin Patel, 22, Brithdir Street, Cardiff; Manchester- based John Almond, 46, and Stuart James, 25, of no fixed address, Daniel Carragher, 21, Heathwood Road, Manchester, and Terrance McMullen, 32, The Broadway, Lancashire.

    Paul Morten, 44, of The Ridgeway, Stockport, denied the charge and also a second allegation of possessing amphetamine with intent to supply.

    He was convicted by a Cardiff jury.

    All 10 will be sentenced today.

    Liz Keen WalesOnline Jun 17 2011



  1. CrookieMonster
    wow this guy just gave up all of the info.. i wonder how many people were arrested because of his cooperation. thanks for the read.
  2. jon-q
    [imgl=white]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=20827&stc=1&d=1308427613[/imgl] £50m Wales heroin gang jailed for almost 70 years

    Gang members who planned to flood south Wales with drugs worth £50m have been jailed for a total of almost 70 years.

    The 10 men were behind what police told Cardiff Crown Court was the biggest ever seizure of heroin in Wales.

    An investigation smashed a network stretching from Wales to north west England producing the drug on an industrial scale.

    Coordinator Det Supt Chris Dodd said: "This highly organised criminal network believed they were above the law."

    On Friday the gang was jailed for a total of 68 years 10 months by Judge Rhys Rowlands.

    The court heard how every major town along the M4 was a target for the gang.

    As more and more heroin began to show up in blood tests carried out at police stations, undercover officers from the Tarian regional task force were deployed.

    They watched as deals were done in public places, with one favoured spot being outside the Techniquest Science Museum in Cardiff.

    When one courier was caught, it took the gang just hours to replace mobile phones and send another assignment of heroin on the road to south Wales.

    On Friday Judge Rowlands described the speed with which they got back into business as "astonishing".

    He told them they had been motivated by greed, plying an evil trade to support lavish lifestyles.

    They were foiled by an intelligence-led operation by Tarian officers working with Gwent police, South Wales police, Nottinghamshire police, Greater Manchester Police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

    Exactly a year ago, on 17 June 2010, arrests were made in Newport, Cardiff, Llanbradach, Manchester and Nottingham.

    The 17.6kg of heroin seized on that date had an approximate street value of £1.76m.

    Officers in the Stockport area of Manchester also discovered a hydraulic press, and around 300kg of substances used as cutting agents.
    Click The 10 men were behind what police told Cardiff Crown Court was the biggest ever seizure of heroin in Wales
    When cut together police said the substances could have led to the supply of half a ton of heroin with an approximate street value of £50m.

    Also recovered was a total of £150,000 in cash.

    Det Supt Chris Dodd, the Tarian coordinator, said the gang were able to distribute drugs on an industrial scale with impunity.

    He said that the police will now work to confiscate the gang's assets.

    Supt David Johnson of Gwent Police said: "The gang attained a certain status in the area as dealers, and their criminality created a significant negative impact on the local community.

    "I'm delighted that they are no longer able to cause misery in our city.

    "It has been said many times before that drug dealing is a vile trade which has catastrophic effects on people, families and communities, and I echo that again today."

    Those sentenced with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs after pleading guilty were:

    • John Almond,46, of Didsbury, Manchester, sentenced to 13 years
    • Ritesh Patel, 28, of Cathays, Cardiff, 11 years
    • Stuart Lee James, 25, of Somerton, Newport, 8 years 6 months
    • Terence Peter McMullen, 32, of Oldham, Manchester, 6 years
    • Anthony Charles Clarke, 50, of Llanbradach, Caerphilly, 5 years 4 months
    • Pinakin Patel, 32, of Cathays, Cardiff, 4 years
    • Mohamed Shoheb Hussein, 28, of Ely, Cardiff, 4 years
    • Daniel Eric Bowyer, 22, of Bishpool View, Newport, 3 years 6 months
    • Daniel James John Carragher, 21, of Didsbury, Manchester, 3 years 6 months

    Also convicted was Paul James Morten, 44, of Disley, Manchester, for possession with intent to supply Amphetamine and conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs. He was sentenced to 10 years.

    Charlotte Farrell, 24, of Crumpsall, Manchester also pleaded guilty to money laundering on 12 March 2011 and was sentenced to 200 hours' community service.

    Meanwhile in a separate case at Swansea Crown Court, ten people have been jailed for a total of 36 years and eight months following an undercover police operation against the heroin and crack cocaine trade in Carmarthen.

    BBC News 17 June 2011

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