Merseyside drugs gang jailed over Welsh cocaine ring

Merseyside members of a 17-strong drugs gang responsible for smuggling vast amounts of cocaine from Liverpool to peddle in Wales were today jailed.

Four drugs crooks from Prescot, Whiston, St Helens and Birkenhead were among those locked up for a combined 59 years.

Sentencing them at Swansea Crown Court, Judge Paul Thomas said: “People like you who decide to get involved in dealing with large quantities of cocaine do so in the knowledge that if caught they will get long sentences in jail.

“You all took a calculated risk and now that you have lost that particular gamble you will pay the price.”

Operation Redcliff: John Underwood

Dyfed Powys police bugged the gang’s phones, tracked their cars using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and employed expert undercover work to smash the cocaine ring, which operated in towns including Carmarthen, Milford Haven and Pembroke.

Arrests were made in April last year after cocaine worth £50,000 was seized in west Wales.

John Underwood, 30, of Coronation Drive, Prescot, was caught with drugs in a van in Cwmgwili, Carmarthen, by police in September 2012. He was jailed for eight years.

Operation Redcliff: David Campbell

Peter Cummins, 29, from Byron Avenue, Whiston, Merseyside, was given six and a half years for his “significant role”.

Richard Houghton, 32, of Ridings Close, St Helens, got four and a half years for his role as a drugs courier.

David Campbell, 58, of Patterson Street, Birkenhead was jailed for three years. He was caught with the cocaine worth £50,000.

All pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, while Rebecca Underwood, 28, of Whiston – partner of John Underwood – was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for 12 months for laundering the gang’s money.

Operation Redcliff: Richard Houghton

Mark Tinsley, 32, of Dennett Road, Prescot was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work for the community for money laundering.

Others jailed for their roles in the drugs conspiracy included former Welsh water polo international Jamie Evans, 42, of Crud y Wawr, St Clears.

Operation Redcliff: Peter Cummins

He was described as the “lynchpin” of the West Wales part of the drugs operation and jailed for eight years.

Article source: