Men admitted trying to sell class A drugs
Members of a multi-million pounds drugs gang operating out of Cardiff have been jailed.
Six men from Cardiff and two from Liverpool were sent to prison for a total of 54 years at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, 23 March, 2017 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A Drugs.
The following sentences were passed down:
- Mark Cruise, 37, from Grangetown, was jailed for nine years.
- Stephen Fenton, 38, from Ely, was jailed for seven years.
- Kyle Gallagher, 29 from Canton, was jailed for three years.
- Paul Jewitt, 37, from Grangetown was jailed for six years.
- Warren Pesticcio, 28, from Canton, was jailed for six and a half years.
- Marcus Thompson, 38, Grangetown, was jailed for nine years.
- Shaun Harries, 37, from Livepool, was jailed for eight and a half years.
- Mark Taylor, 56, from Widnes, was jailed for five years.
Gang associate Damien Bellamy, who was arrested during the police investigation, is currently serving a 16 month prison sentence having earlier pleading guilty to conspiring to supply class A drugs.
The men were arrested following a six-month police investigation called Operation Blue Magnet which led to the seizure of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin valued at over £400,000.
Police surveillance unravelled the illegal operation which involved regular trips to Liverpool to buy cocaine for the Cardiff market.
Damien Bellamy was the first member of the group to be arrested - at 5.30pm on Wednesday, 30 March, 2016, he was stopped and searched by officers while walking along a Clive Street in Grangetown, with half a kilogramme of cocaine in a rucksack.
Fearing that police were closing in after the arrest, Cardiff gang leaders Mark Cruise and Marcus Thompson moved their operation to a caravan in Saundersfoot.
Just over a month later on May 6th, 2016, Mark Cruise, Mark Taylor, Warren Pesticcio and Kyle Gallagher were arrested. Cruise and Taylor were arrested in Wyndham Crescent, in Canton, and Pesticcio and Gallagher were arrested inside a nearby address. A search of the property and cars linked to the men found two kilogrammes of cocaine worth over £100,000 along with other drug paraphernalia such as weighing scales and mixing agents.
During the early hours of the following morning (May 7), Marcus Thompson was arrested at a caravan in Sunnyvale Caravan Park, Saundersfoot, by Dyfed Powys Police officers.
Finally, Shaun Harris, who had fled to Spain following the arrests of his accomplices was apprehended on 13th September, 2016, as he landed in John Lennon Airport, Liverpool.
Detective Inspector Tudor Thomas, said: "These individuals were significant suppliers to the class a drug market within Cardiff and thought they could keep one step ahead of police by moving to another force area but in reality this only made them more vulnerable.
"South Wales Police will relentlessly pursue those persons who supply these harmful drugs into our communities and are committed to responding effectively to such activity to keep South Wales safe."