GANG RAN DRUGS RING FROM BARRY SHOP
A CRIME gang exposed by undercover police who befriended them, will be sentenced today for running an international drugs syndicate out of a car bodyshop.
Fourteen men were involved in the drugs network extending to Spain, Amsterdam and the Caribbean, fronted by S&J Autos workshop in Barry.
The gang were involved in plans to supply ecstasy tablets brought in from Spain in lemonade bottles.
A court heard the gang had a ready supply of guns and ammunition and handled thousands of pounds of counterfeit money.
They were exposed when undercover police set up a business next door to the garage and befriended the drug dealers.
Prosecutor Ieuan Morris said, "The gang members were steeped in the drug culture and had interests in a variety of illegitimate business enterprises.
"As the undercover operation gained momentum what became apparent was the ready availability of firearms and ammunition.
"This was organised crime run out of a car body repair centre."
Undercover police became friendly with a number of the criminals including the "pivotal figure" Russell Dawson, also known as "Sam".
Cardiff Crown Court heard Dawson, 37, told police he was willing to do anything illegal to make money.
Mr Morris said, "He talked to them about schemes to supply Viagra, pornographic DVDs, forged vehicle licences and MOT certificates, contraband cigarettes and even people smuggling."
Dawson told the undercover officers, known as Tommy and George, he could supply them with ecstasy from Spain.
He said the tablets, which bore a Motorola symbol, would cost the men a few pence per tablet.
He also set up meetings for them with dealers from Manchester who said they could supply 200,000 to 300,000 ecstasy pills.
Dawson also introduced the men to other drug dealers around Cardiff who dealt in cocaine.
Dawson, of Barry, admitted five counts of conspiracy to supply drugs, namely cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine sulphate - more commonly known as speed.
Stephen Farmer, 46, of Barry, owned S&J Autos, the business at the front of the crime syndicate. He admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Jeffrey Preece, 33, of Barry ran another garage next door to S&J Autos. He admitted two counts of conspiring to supply cocaine and ecstasy.
"Foot-soldiers" Christian Skeene, David Page and Marc Allinson admitted conspiracy to supply ecstasy and speed.
Terrence Yates, 45, of Southampton, admitted conspiracy to supply ecstasy. He would travel to France for the gang.
The Manchester drug dealers Gary Jackson, 29, and John Cooper, 30, admit conspiring to supply large amounts of cocaine, speed and ecstasy.
Jackson also admitted possessing four nine-ounce bars of cannabis resin with intent to supply.
Clanson Foster, 43, of Barry, ran a valetting business out of S&J Autos as a cover for his drug deals. He admitted conspiring to supply cocaine and possessing a firearm.
Disc-jockey Donald Williamson, 42, also of Barry, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession of a firearm.
London chef Adam Culverwell, 32, and his restaurateur uncle Enzo Cridali, 53, of Barry, admitted conspiring to supply speed and controlling counterfeit money.
Michael Hamblin, 32, of Birmingham, also admitted conspiring to supply cocaine.