An organised crime gang involved in a £1 million cocaine conspiracy have today been jailed for more than 42 years.
Eight men were sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday, 21 December, for their parts in a conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of class A drug – cocaine throughout the Gwent area. The gang carried out their criminality under the guise of a car recovery business, KPT Services, in Newport.
The defendants were arrested as part of Operation Empire – an investigation into the supply of class A drugs by our organised crime unit. The offences took place between October 2018 and October 2019. During that time period, the gang were involved in drug dealing on a commercial scale – supplying around 28kg of cocaine which has an estimated street value of over £1 million.
As part of the operation, 100 officers were involved in drugs warrants at ten addresses across Gwent in December 2019 – six in Newport, two in Pontypool and two in Caerphilly. During the investigation, officers seized:
- more than 2kg of cocaine
- £60,000 in cash
- high-performance cars including a Volkswagen, Mercedes and Audi
- Designer clothing with an estimated value in excess of £30,000.
The defendants sentenced today:
Jedd Wiegold – 10-and-a-half-years
Wiegold, aged 32, from Trehomas, Caerphilly, has been sentenced to 10-and-a-half-years in total. He received eight-and-a-half-years for supplying cocaine after being convicted following a trial at Swansea Crown Court in April 2021. He received two years imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class B amphetamine in relation to another Gwent Police investigation – Op Beechway. He was also sentenced to 12 months for possession of extreme pornography – this sentences will run concurrently to his two drug sentences.
Two other men are due to be sentenced in January 2022.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Tuck, of Gwent Police, said:
“This was a lengthy investigation into an organised crime group who were involved in the commercial supply of cocaine throughout the Gwent area. We welcome the sentences handed out today which takes members of a drug dealing gang off our streets for a very long time.
“This result is a testament to the hard work that was put into this investigation by Gwent Police’s organised crime unit.
We are committed to disrupting and dismantling organised crime groups whose criminal activities blight the lives of our communities.
“Class A drugs cause harm and can have devastating consequences to both those who use them and the wider society who suffer from the resulting crime.
We will not tolerate those making a profit from other people’s misery in Gwent and we will continue to tackle the supply of controlled drugs to keep our communities safe.