Two members of an organised crime group from South Wales have been sentenced today to 16 years in prison.
They were convicted of money laundering and conspiring to supply cocaine with an estimated street value in excess of £1.2 million.
Martyn Pagett, aged 31, from Blaina, and Neil Strange, aged 61, formerly of Blaina but now living in Paignton, Devon, were arrested in Bristol on 19 August 2014 by officers from the Wales branch of the National Crime Agency. Officers seized approximately £125,000 in cash from the scene.
NCA investigators also recovered eight kilos of high purity cocaine from the Cwm Crachen travellers site in Nantyglo, where Pagett was employed as the site warden. The drugs were found in a portacabin at the site that only Pagett had access to. A further £9,000 was was recovered at an address linked to Strange in Theale, near Reading.
Earlier that day, Pagett had travelled down to Abergavenny, where an exchange took place between him and Anthony Moran, aged 33, from Glasgow. Moran caught a train back to Scotland, but was stopped by British Transport Police in Crewe as a result of NCA intelligence. He was found to be in possession of one kilo of cocaine and has since been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Pagett was also supplying, amongst others, Ashley Burgham, aged 28, the head of another OCG based in Gwent. Burgham and ten members of his group were sentenced to 54 years on 11 December 2015.
Both Pagett and Strange pleaded guilty and were sentenced today at Cardiff Crown Court to eight and eight and a half years respectively.
Colin Williams, NCA Wales branch commander, said:
“These men were heavily involved in money laundering and supplying large quantities of class A drugs to other crime groups, who in turn sold the drugs on to make large profits, fund their criminal lifestyle, and invest in further criminal activity.
“By putting both Pagett and Strange behind bars, we have broken a link in the chain between suppliers and street-level dealers, who cause misery and suffering within the communities of South Wales”.