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14 men sentenced to over 140 years for major drugs conspiracy

14 men involved in large-scale drugs network have been jailed a total of more than 140 years, following an investigation by Tarian, the southern Wales Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Detectives were provided with packages of Encrochat (a private messaging system) data from the National Crime Agency. From the data, officers were able to identify who the anonymous users were and have used their own chat in evidence against them.

The Organised Crime Group (OCG) was predominantly based in south Wales but with close connections with Liverpool from where the drugs were primarily sourced.

Its members, using encrypted devices, organised the distribution of multi kilograms of cocaine and heroin and the collection and transport of significant quantities of cash.

Over 50kg of heroin and cocaine and over £700,000 cash has been seized as part of this investigation.

All 14 men were found guilty to the drugs offences earlier this year.

The following appeared in Cardiff Crown Court yesterday and today for sentencing for their role in the conspiracy to supply Class A drug offences and money laundering:

Daniel Masher, aged 33 from Liverpool, was sentenced to 18 years
Martin Askew, aged 53 from Birmingham was sentenced to 14 years and five months
Lloyd Stapleton, aged 35 from Roath, Cardiff, was sentenced to 14 years and five months
Anthony Rake, aged 31 from Grangetown, Cardiff, was sentenced to 13 years
Jamie Crees, aged 38 from Pentwyn, Cardiff, was sentenced to 12 years and five months
Paul Beard, aged 38 from Pentwyn, Cardiff, was sentenced to 12 years
Glyn Roberts, aged 42 from Newport was sentenced to 10 years
Dylan Bulmer, aged 27 from Pentwyn, Cardiff was sentenced to eight years and eight months
Layton Maxwell, aged 43 from Rhiwbina, Cardiff, was sentenced to eight years
Kevin Jenkins, aged 41 from Pontypridd, was sentenced to seven years and five months
Rafeeq Kaid, aged 32 from Penylan, Cardiff, was sentenced to six years
Charles Lado, aged 36 from Cardiff was sentenced to six years
Daniel Roberts, aged 38 from Pontllanfraith, was sentenced to six years
Richard Smith, aged 46 from Cardiff was sentenced to four years and five months
Acting Detective Inspector Dorian Williams said: “This week we have seen 14 more criminals put behind bars for a significant number of years, as part of an investigation linked to the national Operation Venetic which saw law officials in Europe crack the ‘EncroChat’ service used by criminals involved in serious and organised crime to carry out their business.

“The guilty plea put forward by these criminals was as a result of the overwhelming evidence put before the court. Surveillance evidence in conjunction with Encrochat data allowed us to identify and prove the criminal activities of each of the defendants.
“At Tarian we’re committed to targeting the supply of drugs and will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of those people who think they are above the law.

“This crime group are now behind bars and thankfully unable to bring drugs and misery to families and communities across south Wales and beyond.”


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