AN Operation by the Serious Organised Crime Team at Dyfed Powys-Police has foiled a multi million pound conspiracies by sophisticated organised crime groups supplying and distributing a staggering amount of drugs that flooded the streets of Aberystwyth and Llanelli.
A press release issued today, Tuesday (Mar 13) by Dyfed-Powys Police reads:
Following a number of drug related deaths between 2014 and 2017 in Llanelli and Aberystwyth, the force’s Serious and Organised Crime Team set up Operation Ulysses to tackle the scourge of Class A drugs and to prevent further tragedies. Today marks the successful outcome after 28 defendants have been sentenced to more than 193 years in prison between them. Significantly, we have also seen a decline in the number of heroin-related deaths in Llanelli since the group’s operation was busted.
The case involved a series of widespread and far reaching conspiracies worth millions of pounds, to supply class A drugs – cocaine, heroin, MDMA, and Class B drugs cannabis and ketamine, throughout Wales. In fact, the group conspired to supply in excess of 20kgs of heroin and cocaine. These defendants were operating from within North Wales and South West Wales and also with another group based in Liverpool.
This was a prolonged operation, and is the most complex investigation undertaken by the Serious Organised Crime Team due to the number of organised crime groups involved throughout Wales and Liverpool. It was demanding, and the team were deployed away from their families for long periods.
It is estimated that 14kg of heroin and 12kg of cocaine had been couriered in trips to Llanelli and Aberystwyth, with 410 MDMA tablets, 2.2kg of ketamine and 2kg of cannabis also recovered.
The sophisticated group were dealing on an industrial scale. They operated covertly and executed their criminal enterprise with precision. They were very careful in respect of where they stored drugs, and used isolated, rural locations that were difficult to access. But the Serious and Organised Crime Team utilised a wide range of equally sophisticated tactics available to them to infiltrate the group’s operation. This included the force’s Digital and Cyber Crime Unit examining 111 mobile phones, working through over 76,000 pages of telephone data and analysing 1.9 million rows of data.
Detective Sergeant Rhys Jones of the Serious and Organised Crime Team said: “Today is a jubilant day for the Serious and Organised Crime Team – seeing these 28 defendants brought to justice after what was a challenging and demanding prolonged investigation. We invested a lot of ourselves into getting this result, spending long periods away from our families in the pursuit of justice. Drugs misuse creates such misery and despair, and causes significant harm to our communities. There is a human cost to the trade of supplying drugs, and we will work tirelessly to stop this. I hope these sentences send out a clear, unequivocal message to those involved in supplying and distributing drugs – we will take robust action against you, and will use a wide range of tactics available to us to disrupt drug supply and bring you to justice. There is nowhere to hide. We will continue to ensure the Dyfed-Powys Police area remains a hostile environment for those involved in Serious and Organised Crime at all levels.”
As part of the response to the drugs deaths and ‘near misses’ within Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, pursuing the drug suppliers was only one element of Operation Ulysses. Local policing have been working with partners including local authorities, health and drugs agencies throughout this operation to provide support to the communities and individuals most affected by serious and organised crime.
Un elfen yn unig o ymgyrch Ulysses oedd mynd ar ôl y cyflenwyr cyffuriau. Mae swyddogion wedi bod yn yn gweithio’n agos gyda phartneriaid, gan gynnwys awdurdodau lleol, gwasanaeth iechyd, ac asiantaethau cyffuriau. Uwch arolygydd Gary Mills sy’n esbonio
Posted by Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Superintendent Gary Mills, Carmarthenshire Divisional Commander added: “As well as pursuing those organised crime groups that were conspiring to supply Class A drugs in our communities, we were acutely aware of the effect the disruption of supply to users of Class A drugs that this action would result in, and from the outset we worked very closely with our partners in health and drugs charities to ensure the appropriate support was, and continues to be available to them. “We urged users of Class A drugs to seek the help and support that was available to them. Our partners were ready and waiting to provide them with all the necessary help that they required – and we stressed how important it was that users took advantage of this opportunity. Together with our partners, our priority was to give them the chance to turn things around, and live a drug free life. But we were also clear that if they did not engage in the treatment and support being offered, continued drugs use would not be tolerated in the Dyfed-Powys area. We have seen too many lives end in tragedy, and the suffering that families and friends have to endure.”
Sian Roberts, Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Services, Service Manager said: “Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Services (DDAS) have welcomed the fresh approach taken by Dyfed-Powys Police, making it their priority for individuals to have an opportunity to enter substance misuse treatment. DDAS enjoy working in partnership with the police, however anyone’s treatment information will remain confidential.
“We offer a warm and friendly welcome to anyone requiring our service. If anyone is looking for support to change their drug and/or alcohol use or is worried or concerned about someone else’s substance misuse, please contact DDAS on 03303 639 997 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. DDAS work as part of a multi-agency substance misuse treatment system and work closely with partners to ensure all our service users needs are met.”
The Operation Ulysses arrest phase was conducted over a period of 6 weeks and we were supported by the National Crime Agency, North Wales Police and an Asset Recovery Contractor. This is the first time we’ve used a contractor to attend searches with us in order for them to advise in relation to high value items. The ill-gotten gains were seized, and the contractor has been instrumental in the storage and retention of these items. The current estimated value of items recovered to date is over £30,000.
Chief Inspector Jeff Moses at North Wales Police said: “The investigation undertaken by Dyfed Powys Police has been both complex and comprehensive and I’d like to pass on our congratulations on it’s very successful conclusion. Drug related activities, and the inherent violence that normally accompanies it has an enormous impact and the communities of Wales and North West England are safer places with these men behind bars. North Wales Police provided significant support to Operation Ulysses particularly in the county of Conwy where a number of the arrests and searches took place and so I’m pleased for those communities in particular and the policing teams who took part in the operation.”