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Seventeen drug dealers jailed after undercover operation

By Deborah Hardiman | Mid Wales | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

Seventeen people have been jailed after a major operation to rid the streets of Mid Wales of heroin and crack cocaine dealers.

Paul Greenway, of Llandrindod Wells

Operation Moose was launched by the Dyfed-Powys Police Serious and Organised Crime Team to stem the flow of illegal drugs in Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and the surrounding areas.

Detectives ran a covert investigation between February and June last year in a successful effort to break the crime ring.

GALLERY: The seventeen who have been jailed

As a result, more than £10,000 of heroin and crack cocaine were seized.This contained 48.58g of heroin and 3.49g of crack cocaine.

Detective Inspector Gareth Grant said: “This result has come from a large-scale operation, including the use of undercover officers, that has seen us take a significant number of people out of a criminal group and helped safeguard vulnerable people in Powys.

“The sentences we have seen over the last few days show how seriously Dyfed-Powys Police takes drug trafficking.

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“We will continue to seek justice against those who continue to commit such crimes in our communities.”

Those sentenced at Swansea Crown Court this week included, from Newtown – Richard Hopkins, 41, of Fern Square, who was jailed for four years and six months; Simon Hodgson, 33, of Gelli, three years and four months; Antonia Williams, 38, of Heol Rhedyn, three years and six months; Sheena Butterworth, 32, of Fern Square, two years and eight months; Nicholas Price, 28, of Glandwr, four years.

From Llandrindodd Wells were Joanna Stella Morgan, 36, of Sunningdale, who was jailed for seven years; Paul David Greenway, 41, of Gwynfa, eight years; Stuart Reddell, 40, of Llys Heulog, five years; George Duggan Shearer, 52, of Overmore, two years and six months; Clifford Bishop-Laggett, 38, of Sunningdale, three years; Joe Alan Pringle, 29, of Finch Court, three years and four months.

There was also Donovan Bond, 34, of Oldford Rise, Welshpool, who got three years and nine months.

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Criminal activity

David Thomas Warner, 56, of Yew Tree Close, Gurnos, Merthyr Tydfil, got nine years; Michael Gubbins, 46, of no fixed abode got six years and four months; and Mark Anthony Gray, 39, also of no fixed abode, got three years and four months.

Sentencing of a further three defendants – Georgina Church, age 30, of Orchid Walk, Newtown, Carl Cowans, 39, of Orchid Walk, Newtown, and Craig Daniel Roberts, 30, of Ty Wesley, Wrexham, was adjourned to a later date.

The major court case follows the prison sentence handed to David Scott Pritchard, 31, of The Grange, in Llandrindodd Wells, in August last year for his part in the criminal activity.

DI Grant added: “There was a huge amount of activity behind this illegal operation, which has made all but a few of them plead guilty because the case against them was so strong.

"Pursuing the individuals was only one element of the operation, and Dyfed-Powys Police worked closely with partners in healthcare as well as the local drugs support agency Kaleidoscope in Powys during the enforcement phase, and they were present throughout to provide support in respect of drug abuse, addiction and rehabilitation.

"This sort of large-scale operation is part of the partnership approach in Dyfed and Powys to tackle serious violence and organised crime. Project Diogel – which means safe in Welsh – sets out how we and our partners are going to protect our communities together, making Dyfed and Powys safer and hostile to offenders."

And speaking to the people of Dyfed and Powys, he added: "But you are our eyes and ears, and therefore our plea to you is that you identify when something isn’t right in your communities and tell us about it. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Help protect your community, report it. You don’t have to be certain, just concerned."

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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