Operation Mojave

The Southern Wales Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) have secured convictions against seven people involved in a conspiracy to supply heroin in the south Wales area.

The convictions are the culmination of Operation Mojave, an operation targeting the supply of drugs in south Wales by a locally based organised crime group.

On Friday 1st March 2013 officers carried out a drugs warrant at a premises in Cardiff. This resulted in the seizure of just around 4.77 kilograms of Class 'A' drugs, mainly heroin. The potential street value is thought to be around £520,000. £73,000 cash was also seized.

A follow up investigation was launched to identify the other members of this organised crime group which resulted in two further drugs warrants been issued on 25th and 26th November 2013. During these searches further heroin was found, around 223 grams, with a potential street value of £23,000.? A total of £23,000 cash was also recovered.

The following seven defendants all pleaded guilty to the offences and were sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court today (Friday 12th December 2014) to the following;

  • Joseph Thomas, aged 31, from Butetown,Cardiff- 9 years
  • David Cook, aged 30, from Grangetown, Cardiff- 8 years
  • Joel Harris, aged 27, from Ely, Cardiff - 6 years
  • Anthony Watson, aged 25, from Pentwyn, Cardiff - 6 years
  • Damien Farrugia, aged 34, from Fairwater, Cardiff - 5 years
  • Elisha Mutsange, aged 23, from Roath, Cardiff - 3 years
  • David Hale, aged 23, from Ely, Cardiff - 40 months

Two further defendants will be sentenced at a later date.

All seven defendants will have to serve at least half of their sentences before being released on conditional licence.

Detective Inspector Tracey Rankine said: "It's impossible to quantify the impact that this amount of Class A drugs would have had on our communities in south Wales. Thankfully it will now never reach our streets and these criminals are facing a long time behind bars".

Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Davies said: "We are pleased that the court has recognised the severity of the actions of this criminal group and has imposed appropriate sentences. Fortunately during the police investigation into this conspiracy officers intercepted around 5 kilograms of heroin which would otherwise have made it onto the streets of south Wales."

DCS Davies added: "It is difficult to overstate the importance of identifying drug dealing operations like this, which cause untold misery in our communities".

"We will actively pursue those involved in the supply of illegal drugs to ensure offenders are brought to justice. In addition to the custodial sentences these individuals now face, we will also be making sure their crimes will not pay by stripping them of the profit and assets of their offending under the Proceeds of Crime Act".