Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Six jailed for trafficking cocaine and cannabis to Pembrokeshire

Published

on

SIX people have been jailed for their parts in an organised crime gang (OCG) which trafficked large quantities of cocaine and cannabis into Pembrokeshire.

The OCG were caught under Op Rookley, a covert investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Team, which dismantled the gang that was transporting both the Class A and Class B drugs between Dorset, Merseyside and Pembrokeshire over an 11-month period.

On Friday (Dec 2) at Swansea Crown Court, Leigh Smith, aged 44, of Owls Road, was sentenced to 3 years and 9 months; Shaun Lucas, aged 48, of Ty Cornel, Park Street, Fishguard, was sentenced to 9 years and 8 months; and Terence Harrison, aged 43, of Kings Road West, Swanage, was sentenced to 8 years 4 months.

All three had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs at an earlier hearing.
Earlier this month Ozan Kilicaslan, aged 30, of Ashley Road, Poole, was sentenced to 41 weeks in prison having pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to supply class B drugs.
Charlotte Doe, aged 32, of Halves Cottages, Corfe Castle, was sentenced to 13 months and Ryan Ager, aged 34, of Pilch Bank Road, Liverpool, was sentenced to 19 months, both having pleaded guilty to money laundering.

Leone James, aged 33, of Precelly Crescent, Stop and Call, Goodwick, will be sentenced on Friday, 16 December, having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B drugs.
An eighth person, Steven John Kerr, aged 35, of Tracks Lane, Billinge, near Wigan, was found not guilty of money laundering following trial.

Senior investigating officer DI Richard Lewis said: “This was a lengthy operation involving a number of departments across the force, who investigated intelligence, coordinated a series of warrants, interviewed the defendants and carried out detailed enquiries into their activity.
“Today’s sentencing culminates more than a year of police work, which saw the disruption of a major supply chain into Pembrokeshire and the dismantling of an organised crime gang, which was no doubt linked to illegal activity on a wider scale.”

The Goodwick-based gang was headed by Lucas, who sourced the drugs from Dorset-based Liverpudlian Harrison. Lucas was then responsible for the onward supply of the cocaine and cannabis in the Fishguard, wider Pembrokeshire areas.

Lucas utilised his partner James’ home address in Stop & Call, Goodwick, as a base to orchestrate the supply network and serve his numerous customers.
He also utilised this address to meet with couriers Kilicaslan and Smith who were responsible for the delivery of drugs, as well as those responsible for collecting the cash generated from the sale of the cocaine and cannabis.

As part of the disruption, police seized 244g of cocaine as it was being transported from Dorset to Pembrokeshire in October 2021. Despite this enforcement action, they continued their illicit activities and in December 2021 Kilicaslan was arrested on his return journey from Lucas’ home address.

His vehicle smelt strongly of cannabis and he tested positive for the presence of cocaine during a roadside drug swipe. Within his vehicle officers located £15,000 linked to Lucas.

Following this further disruption, the gang continued to traffic cocaine and cannabis into the Pembrokeshire area for the onward supply by Lucas and less than three weeks later, Smith delivered a large quantity of cocaine to Lucas at his home address.

In January 2022, Doe was arrested on her return journey to Dorset from Lucas’ home address. Officers located more than £26,700 in her vehicle in two bundles, which were later forensically linked to both Lucas and Harrison. The following day the gang continued their endeavour and Lucas travelled to Dorset to meet with Harrison.

In March 2022 a two-week arrest phase saw eight people arrested in the Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Dorset and Pembrokeshire areas.

Ryan Ager, who refused to engage with officers at the time, later handed himself in at a Merseyside police station. Eight of those people, including Ager, were charged with being involved in a conspiracy to supply cocaine. Harrison, Lucas and Smith were also later charged with being involved in a conspiracy to supply cannabis. All three admitted both offences.

Kilicaslan later admitted his part in the conspiracy to supply cannabis and his involvement in money laundering offences.

Doe and Ager admitted to their involvement in money laundering offences and James later admitted to her involvement in the supply of cannabis.

Pembrokeshire Commander Superintendent Anthony Evans: “As a force we are making it a priority to target the people who bring and sell drugs in our area, so we’re pleased to have secured this result.
“Further work will now be carried out in relation to a Proceeds of Crime Act investigation which is aimed at confiscating criminal assets gained through illegal activities.
“Operation Rookley has resulted in the disruption of the supply of drugs into Pembrokeshire and shows Dyfed-Powys is intent on preventing travelling criminals from entering the area.”

To report suspicious behaviour in your community, visit https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, email 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or call 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

News

Milford Haven: Police investigating sexual assault

Published

on

POLICE are investigating an incident of sexual assault which occurred in Hakin, Milford Haven.

Milford Haven Police say that the alleged incident took place in Croft Avenue on February 7, 2023 at around 19:50hrs.

If anyone is able to give any information regarding this incident please ring 101 quoting reference DPP/0956/07/02/2023/02/C.

Continue Reading

News

Pembrokeshire County Council faces less bleak finances than previously expected

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL faces a less bleak financial position than had previously been expected, to the tune of nearly £10m, members of a schools committee have heard.

At the February 6 meeting of the Schools and Learning Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack, presented outline draft 2023-’24 budget proposals to members.

He told members an updated draft budget was to be reported to the February meeting of the council’s Cabinet after a previously feared funding gap of £28m was now smaller, at £18.6m, due to a higher settlement from Welsh Government.

An expected 3.5 per cent settlement ended up being 7.9 per cent, which meant some expected cuts were now unlikely to happen, he told committee members.

“A large number of the most severe cuts are now very, very unlikely; we’re now looking at a deficit of £18.6m, it’s not as severe as it was.

“The officer team is looking at how that funding gap could be closed with budget savings and with different levels of council tax.”

Members heard the budget is expected to be addressed through an increase in council tax – potentially in the area of 7.5 per cent – along with significant cost reductions.

Director of Resources John Haswell said: “It was a better settlement, but still an £18.6m gap; this isn’t a one-year issue, this is an issue over the medium-term plan, over £50m over the four-year period.”

He said that Pembrokeshire, having the lowest council tax rates in Wales, meant that each potential percentage increase returned less than other local authorities.

Members heard papers listing the latest budget proposals for Cabinet discussion are expected to be released soon, in advance of the February 13 meeting.

Members agreed to defer making any recommendations to Cabinet, pending the release of the revised papers.

Continue Reading

Business

Welsh Freeport competition heats up with Senedd vote

Published

on

ON WEDNESDAY, the Senedd will hold a debate regarding freeports as the competition for UK and Welsh Government funding nears its conclusion.

Currently, three bids are in from across Wales for a chance to benefit from £26 million of direct UK Government funding, as well as reduced taxes for businesses in the freeport area. A Welsh freeport could see up to 16,000 jobs created and further investment or the local area into the billions.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, Paul Davies MS said:

“Benefits of a freeport cannot be understated, bringing much needed jobs and investment into some of the most deprived areas of Wales.

“The UK Government put the challenge to Wales to submit exceptional bids, and Wales has delivered.

“All three bids would help to transform their local communities in different ways. It’s essential that the UK and Welsh Governments work together to deliver that second freeport for Wales, maximising the opportunities that these bids have to offer.”

The three Welsh Freeport bids are:

  • The Celtic Freeport (covering Pembrokeshire to Neath) which has estimated that it would create over 16,000 new jobs and up to £5.5 billion in new investment.
  • The Anglesey Freeport would support up to a £1 billion contribution to UK GDP by 2030, while also creating up to 13,000 new, high salary jobs in Ynys Môn.
  • The Newport Freeport (including Cardiff Airport) is aiming to increase non-passenger revenues to 50%, ending their reliance of passenger generated income.

The UK Government stated that “if a truly exceptional proposal were presented at the bidding stage” than a second freeport would be funded.

The Welsh Conservative debate reads:

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Recognises the opportunities for freeports to energise the Welsh economy, create high quality jobs, promote regeneration and investment.

2. Notes that three bids from Wales have been submitted for consideration by the UK and Welsh Governments.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government to deliver two freeports in Wales, recognising the truly exceptional proposals submitted and the transformational benefits they can deliver for the Welsh economy.

Continue Reading

News1 day ago

Households and businesses off the gas grid to receive energy bill support

£200 energy bill support to begin arriving with households off the gas grid across Great Britain.Businesses using alternative fuels will...

Health1 day ago

Health unions cancel strikes after Welsh Government’s pay offer

HEALTH unions in Wales postponed strike action due for this week following an improved pay offer from the Welsh Government.This...

News1 day ago

Huge 13% rise in fire service costs for council taxpayers in mid and west Wales

TAX payers in Mid and West Wales will pay 13% more towards the region’s fire service in 2023-24 compared to...

News2 days ago

Freshwater West cordoned off over night due to ‘item of ordnance’ being found

EMERGENCY SERVICES were called to Freshwater West on Sunday, after a potentially dangerous item was found. The area remained sealed...

News4 days ago

Community backs fundraiser to help injured Pembrokeshire paramedic

OVER six thousand pounds have been raised to support a local paramedic who was badly injured in a road traffic...

News5 days ago

Wales v Ireland travel advice from Transport for Wales

TRANSPORT FOR WALES is offering rugby supporters rail and bus services for Wales’ opening game of the Six Nations against...

Business5 days ago

Planning approved for change of use in Tenby’s ‘drinking quarter’

THE RESTROSPECTIVE planning applications made by Mike Evans were granted approval by national park planners. A former national park member...

News5 days ago

MP’s call for better County rail links to boost tourism

PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb has called on the Welsh Economy Minister Vaughan Gething to improve rail services into Pembrokeshire as...

News6 days ago

Dyfed-Powys police precept to rise by 7.75 per cent

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has announced a 7.75 per cent rise in the Dyfed-Powys Police precept for 2023-24,...

Business1 week ago

Ferry staff concerned over rumours Pembroke Dock to Rosslare route coming to an end

CONCERNS are growing amongst Irish Ferries staff operating out of Pembroke Dock as rumours continue to circulate that the company...

Popular This Week