Jail sentences totalling 60 years for gang that flooded Mid Wales with drugs

A dozen members of an organised crime group who brought hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of heroin, cocaine and cannabis into Powys have been jailed for a total of more than 60 years.

Witnesses said as many as up to 30 police vehicles were involved in the operation at Leighton Arches in Welshpool.
Witnesses said as many as up to 30 police vehicles were involved in the operation at Leighton Arches in Welshpool.

The members of a drugs gang based in Leighton Arches in Welshpool appeared at Mold Crown Court for sentencing this week.

All but one were sentenced for conspiracy to supply drugs.

Judge Niclas Parry said rural Mid Wales had been flooded with drugs, causing misery for families and the community at large, as he handed out jail terms to 11 gang members:

  • Martin John Gallagher, 35, of Leighton Arches, was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison

  • Michael Power, 20, of Leighton Arches, was sentenced to four years and six months

  • Patrick David Stokes, 33, of Leighton Arches, was sentenced to eight years and nine months

  • John Paul Power, 26, of Leighton Arches, was sentenced to seven years and six months

  • Kuldeep Sahota,35, of Broad Lanes, Wolverhampton, was sentenced to five years and four months

  • Gavin Andrew Tony Warley, 29, of Fourth Avenue, Wolverhampton, was sentenced to eight years and three months

  • Joshua Large, 23, of Brook Close, Coven, was sentenced to four years and 10 months

  • Sheldon Terrence Kay, 24, of Station Road, Knighton, was sentenced to six years and six months

  • Kristian Rigby, 28, of Radnor Drive, Knighton, was sentenced to two years

  • Daniel Seyffert, 39, of High Street, Presteigne, was sentenced to three years

  • Lee Husbands, 22, of Bowling Green Lane, Knighton, was sentenced to three years

  • Lucy Lloyd, 34, of Heyope, Knighton, who pleaded guilty to assisting an organised crime group, received an 18-month sentence suspended for two years

  • Kane Glyn Bastable, 24, of Clarence Road, Wolverhampton, will be sentenced on May 6

The county lines drug operation involved bringing large quantities of cocaine, heroin and cannabis from the Wolverhampton area into the Leighton Arches site for distribution to Welshpool, Newtown, Knighton and other Powys towns over a number of months.

During the execution of a warrant at the Leighton Arches travellers’ site on June 21, 2021, a major Dyfed-Powys Police operation involving 80 officers, uncovered a significant amount of drugs with a street value in the region of £25,721, as well as £45,000 of cash and assets.

The Welshpool organised crime group had trusted associates based within the towns of Knighton and Presteigne acting as sub-dealers.

Stokes, Michael Power, John Paul Power and Gallagher each had a separate customer base with whom they would communicate by phone calls, SMS and social media.

The investigation identified the ‘upstream’ supplier as being Gavin Warley, from Wolverhampton. Warley used couriers, Sahota, Bastable and Large,based in the Wolverhampton area, to run the drugs into Powys.

Officers were able to evidence a conspiracy to supply controlled drugs on 62 occasions between August 2020 and 30th June 2021, when the gang orchestrated the trafficking from Wolverhampton to Welshpool for onward supply.

The total weight of cocaine trafficked over the period is estimated to be in the region of 3.5 kilograms, with a street value in the region of between £352,160 and £440,200.

Detective Inspector Richard Lewis said a lot of hard work had gone into the investigation, with his officers able to prove the movements of the OCG proving critical to securing a far-reaching prosecution.

“We welcome the sentences handed down by the court for people who have been involved in bringing drugs into our communities,” he said.

“A lot of work has gone into proving the extent of this operation so I would like to thank all of the officers and support staff involved in securing these convictions.

“As a force, Dyfed-Powys Police is working to make the area a hostile place for anyone bringing in and selling drugs, which have an extremely adverse effect on our communities.

“These sentences show that dealing drugs is not worth it. Not only will we seek to bring you to justice for these offences but we will seek to recoup any money or assets that you have profited from as a result of your criminal activity.”

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