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Drug arrests made in Operation Regent

Created on 31/08/2018 @ 17:02
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Arrests have been made in Montgomery and Newtown as action to dismantle the supply of Class A drugs in Powys begins.

Tough police action is being taken to dismantle and deter the supply of cocaine and heroin in rural towns in Powys.

Officers from throughout Powys, the force’s Serious and Organised Crime Team and the National Crime Agency are working together to make arrests over the coming weeks.

Warrants have been carried out throughout the week, which have led to the arrest of: David Peter Robert Brown, aged 34, of Little Weston, Montgomery; Clive Anthony Phillips, aged 44, of Builth Road, Builth Wells and Danielle Edith Wye, aged 28, of Pine Court, Newtown.

A warrant was carried out at a property on Hill Crest Rise, Llandrindod Wells, on Wednesday when Anthony Andrew Byrne, aged 32 and Rebecca Lloyd, aged 34, both of Hill Crest Rise were arrested during the warrant and taken into police custody.

Ryan Jolly, aged 37, of Canonford Avenue, Eardisley, was arrested outside a nearby property. 

All have appeared at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’’ Courts charged with conspiracy to supply controlled Class A drugs. They were all remanded in custody.

The arrests and subsequent charges mark a significant stage of Operation Regent, the title given to a long and complex investigation targeting County Lines groups who are effectively drug suppliers who travel to Powys from elsewhere in the UK and set up business with local drug dealers to sell heroin and crack cocaine.

The County Lines groups tend to use a local property, generally belonging to a vulnerable person, sometimes drug users, as a base for their activities. This is known as 'cuckooing' and will often happen by force or coercion. Advice and support is being offered to any local vulnerable adults and teenagers exploited in order to maximise their profit from drug supply.

Powys Chief Inspector Matt Scrase is leading the operation. He said: “We know there is a problem with organised crime groups from elsewhere in the UK travelling to our communities to supply Class A drugs in Powys. 

“Our action to disrupt supply should clearly demonstrate to travelling criminals that this will not be tolerated in Powys. We may be a rural community but we are a community that works closely with our residents and partners to gather information and respond to their concerns.

“It’s a complex scenario as some of our suspects are potentially also victims. They may be dependent on drugs, they may be vulnerable, and therefore a key part of our strategy to combat the problem we are facing is to work closely in partnership to offer support and advice to those people to help them turn their lives around, if they are willing to take the help on offer. 

“Thankfully, this activity has been having very little impact on the majority of the local communities who are unaware of the problem. Those who have been affected are being updated on activity as warrants are carried out.

“So while we don’t wish to alarm residents, we need to make sure they understand that they may see heightened police activity over the coming weeks and this is the reason why. I’d like to ask for their patience and understanding during this time and if they have concerns at all please call us on 101 or approach an officer.

“I must also urge people to contact us - or Crimestoppers if they would prefer to pass on information anonymously - if they suspect drug dealing or cuckooing in their town, village or street. Make sure you’re aware of the signs, such as people coming and going from an address all times of day and night, curtains closed all the time or an increase in anti-social behaviour.”

To report anything suspicious or concerns about the selling and taking of drugs in their community by calling 101, or report online.

To report information anonymously, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For advice and information on County Lines drugs supply see the Dyfed-Powys Police Op Guardian advice page.


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