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48 years in jail for Pembrokeshire drugs gang [Updated]




MEMBERS of a drugs gang who shipped more than £1m worth of cocaine into Pembrokeshire have been jailed today(Jun 24)  for a total of 48 years.

The “head” of the west Wales link, businessman James Bolton, 48, of Kiln Road, Johnston, was jailed for nine and a half years.

Detectives bugged his business, Station Automotives, and heard him discussing drugs deals.

James Frederick Bolton

James Frederick Bolton

His then partner, Siobhan Jackson, 39, also of Kiln Road, was jailed for five years and four months.

Siobhan Jackson

Siobhan Jackson

Leigh Salter, aged 37, of Steynton Road, Milford Haven, said to be the “main man” in Milford Haven, was also jailed for five years and four months.

Leigh John Salter

Leigh John Salter

Andrew Davies, aged 54, of Hill Street, Haverfordwest, who made four drugs runs as a courier in return for £700, was sent down for four years and four months.

Andrew John Davies

Andrew John Davies

Part way through the conspiracy, which involved linking up with drugs suppliers in Liverpool, Salter started a quite separate scheme to buy drugs from a dealer in Swansea.

He used former soldier David Parker, aged 41, of Skomer Drive, Milford Haven, who was caught by detectives as he collected drugs for Salter.

Parker, said to be an active charity fund raiser in Milford, was jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work for the community.

They had all admitted conspiring to supply cocaine between September 1, 2012, and April 22, 2015.

Judge Paul Thomas, sitting at Swansea crown court, said the “kingpin” in Liverpool had been Adam Idris, 33, of Grove Dale Road, Liverpool.

Adam John Idris

Adam John Idris

The conspiracy was smashed by detectives working on Operation Pigeon but before they could move in Idris was arrested in Stoke on Trent as he delivered 250 grams of cocaine.

He was granted police bail while inquiries continued but spent his time setting up the Pembrokeshire conspiracy.

He was jailed for 12 years.

Adam Woodhouse, 34, of Weaver Close, Alsager, Staffordshire, his main courier who admitted making 60 trips to Pembrokeshire to either deliver drugs or collect money, received six years and eight months.

Adam Mark Woodhouse

Adam Mark Woodhouse

Idris’ cousin, bank worker John Foster, 34, of Tiverton Road, Liverpool, admitted money laundering and was jailed for two years and six months.

John Paul Foster

John Paul Foster

Dannielle Maloney, 36, of Dovedale Road, Liverpool, admitted the same charge. She was sentenced to 16 months, suspended for 12 months, and told to undertake 60 days of a rehabilitation activity and to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Thomas told all the defendants they had known the risks involved in supplying a class A drug.

“You took a gamble and lost. Now you must pay the price,” he said.

“Cocaine is often referred to as a leisure drug, but that hides the ugly truth, that it destroys lives and families.

“But each of you took a deliberate decision to get involved in this illegal activity.”

The gang, he said, had made huge amounts of money out of west Wales while creating huge amounts of misery for the people who ultimately consumed the drugs.

During a two day sentencing hearing Robin Rouch, the barrister leading the prosecution, said police logged mobile telephone traffic, car movements and money transfers and in all were able to identify 43 drug runs, although after his arrest Woodhouse alone confessed to at least 60.

It became clear, said Mr Rouch, that Salter and Bolton were the “main players” locally and that Idris was the supplier and Woodhouse the main courier.

When police moved in to make arrests they made finds that suggested about 500 grams of cocaine, worth £30,000, were being shipped each time.

The listening device picked up Bolton and Jackson discussing delivery routes and changing mobile telephones.

And Jackson was followed to Liverpool.

Mr Rouch said Operation Pigeon soon became intertwined with another drugs operation that involved Idris supplying cocaine from Liverpool to the Stoke on Trent area.

Bolton, the court heard, had been convicted in 2010 of possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Mr Rouch said a Proceeds of Crime investigation was now underway to identify drugs profits that could be confiscated.


Officers from the Dyfed-Powys Police Serious and Organised Crime Team welcome the sentences handed down today by Judge Paul Thomas in respect to the ten individuals convicted for their part in a conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs, namely cocaine, into the Pembrokeshire area. The operation had been named, “Operation Pigeon”.

The operation centred on the illegal drug dealing activities of two Organised Crime Groups (OCG’s) within Pembrokeshire. The first headed by James Frederick Bolton operating within the Johnston / Haverfordwest area and the second headed by Leigh John Salter operating within the Milford Haven area. Mr Bolton and Mr Salter had sourced significant quantities of cocaine from a Liverpool OCG headed by Adam John Idris and had arranged its onward distribution at Pembrokeshire via a criminal network of associates. Later in the investigation it was identified that Leigh John Salter also sourced cocaine from a Swansea based individual.

The operation captured evidence between a significant period: from October 2012 to April 2015.

Police intercepted two seizures of cocaine during the course of the investigation totalling 1.2Kg.

Officers evidenced the movement of in the region of £60,000 between Pembrokeshire and the Liverpool based crime group during the conspiracy period. Furthermore, in the region of £7,000 cash was also recovered by police.

Detective Chief Inspector Huw Davies, the Senior Investigating officer, told The Herald: “Today’s sentences are pleasing and reflect the hard work and tenacity of the investigating team during a complex enquiry.

“The investigation evidences a commitment by Dyfed Powys police to provide appropriate resources to investigate and reduce the risk of drug related harm within our communities.

“The investigation disclosed that this crime group were responsible for the trafficking of cocaine into the Pembrokeshire area.

These were significant amounts of cocaine to be available within the small communities of Pembrokeshire and the investigation and enforcement is likely to have had a significant impact.

“The level of this investigation and sentencing should send a clear message to those intent on committing serious crime within our policing area that you will ultimately be frustrated and held responsible for your actions”

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Milford Haven: Apocalyptic scenes as work truck catches fire in Meyler Crescent



A MILFORD HAVEN businessman says that he is “absolutely gutted”, after he lost his tipper truck in a dramatic fire overnight.

Callum Hicks, of Meyler Crescent, was woken just after 1am on Monday morning (Mar 1) to see his vehicle in flames, with fuel running down the street on fire.

The apocalyptic scenes brought neighbours out of their homes and the fire brigade was quickly called and put out the blaze.

At this time the police and fire brigade are not suspecting foul play, but in a telephone call to a Herald reporter Callum Hicks said that he thought it was impossible that the vehicle would just spontaneously combust.

Work van: Callum Hicks with his truck, which he says was his “pride and joy”

Explaining that he thought his truck had been set on fire deliberately, he said: “There was CCTV of the fire, but its a football pitch length away, with a white van parked blocking the view of the camera. There was not a clear uninterrupted view.”

“I parked the truck at 2pm on Sunday afternoon so it was 11 hours before the fire started. The vehicle was therefore cold, and locked up.”

Firefighters at the scene

The Herald has asked two mechanics, one of whom has worked on Transit vans for decades. The first said: “It is very unlikely that a vehicle like this would catch fire on it’s own – its impossible – I am 99.9% sure that this was arson.”

The second, a specialist in vehicle electronics said: “There are so many fuses and fail safes its highly unlikely for diesel vans to burst into flames like this without some kind of catalyst.”

Burned out shell: The vehicle after the fire

“There have been issues regarding Transits in the past, even a product recall involving a fire risk from a towing module. But, the chances are a million to one of it catching fire after being parked up for almost twelve hours. It just doesn’t happen.”

The Herald asked Callum Hicks if he could think of anyone who may want to torch his truck. He said that he could not think of anyone who would do such a thing.

Commenting on the police handling of the matter, he said: “They told my missus, Rhianna Pearce, that they were not taking matters further because it was just an accident – its not!”

“I have been in trouble with the police before, and they know I am a bit of a boy, but I think this is the reason that the police are not looking into this properly.

“At the end of the day this was a large fire in a residential area, lives could have been in danger. I have lost thousands because I was insured third-party only and I do not have cover for fire.

Dyfed-Powys Police and Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been asked for a comment.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50



EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea



A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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