Further members of organised crime gang who conspired to smuggle large amounts of drugs into Wrexham sentenced
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Further members of an organised crime gang who modified vehicles to smuggle large amounts of drugs into Wrexham from Merseyside have today been jailed for a total of almost 46 years.
Four men from Merseyside were sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court on Thursday, July 6th, after admitting conspiring to supply Class A and Class B drugs, with another charged for possessing Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply.
It comes after seven individuals from the same crime group were sentenced to a total of 47 years in March after admitting conspiring to supply Class A and Class B drugs, with another charged for perverting the course of justice.
In total, the group was sentenced to almost 93 years in prison.
The movements of those involved were monitored closely by North Wales Police for seven-months from July 2021 to February 2022 as part of Operation Blue Cashel.
The criminal gang was finally thwarted in February 2022, when officers executed search warrants across North Wales and Merseyside which led to the recovery of a significant amount of drugs and cash.
Cumulatively, more than 18kg of cocaine, more than 19kg of amphetamine, 885 grams of cannabis was seized as part of the operation – a total estimated street value of around £2 million.
In total, three vehicles were found to have been modified with sophisticated electronic hides in the floor pan to transport the drugs into Wrexham. One of which was found to be carrying a kilogram of cocaine when seized by police.
More than £70,000 of cash was also recovered as part of the operation, including £30,000 in another of the modified vehicles.
During one of 15 search warrants carried out, a ledger recovered from one of the properties noted a monthly turnover of £1.2million.
Another ledger recovered from one of the seized vehicles noted that between July 2021 and February 2022, more than £4.8million worth of drugs had been sold.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Hughes, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “The overall result following this operation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all the officers involved and sends a strong message that we do not tolerate drug dealing in our communities.
“The quantity of drugs seized from this sophisticated gang as part of Operation Blue Cashel was one of the larges hauls ever recovered in North Wales.
“A good deal of planning and organisation went into the operation, and the rewards for the gang were clearly very high.
“Those who see North Wales as an easy target to supply drugs will be thwarted and we remain committed to tackling this crime that has such a detrimental effect on people’s lives.
“We will relentlessly pursue anyone who breaks the law and exploits vulnerable people for their own gain, and we will continue to strive to make North Wales the safest place to live, work and visit in the UK.”
The following sentences were issued:
Lee Cole, 42, of Beetham Tower, Old Hall Street, Liverpool - Conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs - 11 years, 3 months.
Anthony Preston, 45, of Leopold Road, Kensington, Liverpool - Conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs - 13 years, 1 month.
Mathew McGrath, 28, of Access Road, Liverpool - Conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs, and possessing Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply - 11 years, 3 months.
Kenneth Houghton, 35, of Auburn Road, Liverpool - Conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs - 10 years, 2 months.