Crime gang responsible for biggest ever cash seizure in Wales jailed

Published:11.07.2016

Thanks to a complex and protracted investigation an Organised Crime Gang has been dismantled and a significant amount of drugs and £1.2m taken off the streets.

Operation Hallett, which was managed by TARIAN, the Welsh Regional Organised Crime Unit, was a two-year investigation involving covert policing techniques.

Following the trial 22 defendants were sentenced for a variety of drug supplying offences.

They formed part of a wider crime group from the Merseyside, Manchester, South Wales and Essex areas.

In addition to the drugs haul of more than 88kg’s of Amphetamine and almost 200kg of cannabis, the gang also had £1.2 million seized, which police proved was part of the drug dealing activities.

The head of the crime group was Michael MARTIN, from Bargoed, who utilised his underworld contacts across the UK to form a drug empire.

During the course of the investigation an address in Ystrad Rhondda was searched which led to the recovery of £1.2 million in cash, along with a sawn off shotgun, cartridges and a cheetah Stun Gun. This cash seizure highlighted to the enquiry team the sheer scope and influence of the various Organised Crime Groups colluding with Michael MARTIN, as well as the vast gains that were available within the drug dealing fraternity.

 

DCI Huw Davies of the Regional Organised Crime Unit commented: "This is another positive result for the Welsh Regional Organised Crime unit and the communities we serve, the sentencing reflects the professionalism and tenacity of the investigating team, together with the Crown Prosecution Service during what can only be described as a complex enquiry.

“Clearly the individuals involved in this case, especially Michael Martin, have no regard for the law and were intent on making large sums of money from their drug dealing activities, with no consideration of the terrible impact their actions were having on our communities.”

“The level of this investigation and sentencing should send a clear message to those intent on committing serious crime within our region, that you will ultimately be held responsible for your actions.

"We are committed to targeting all forms of organised criminals and I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the public that if they have any information that can help us then please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Interview with DCI Huw Davies: https://youtu.be/4x5JghEpaVY