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Carmarthenshire

Pair jailed after heroin worth £42,000 found in Llwynhendy flat

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Two people have been jailed for playing a part in a county lines operation after heroin worth more than £40,000 was seized from a flat in Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police arrested Meirion Wyn Pollard and Mackalia Rhoden during a warrant at a property in Llwynhendy in February, where half a kilo of heroin was found.

Officers attended the flat in Heol Gwili at around 5pm on February 2, where 18-year-old Rhoden handed over a quantity of heroin from her pocket and confirmed there was more in her handbag.

A plastic bag containing a further quantity of brown and white powder was seized from the handbag, with half a kilo of heroin located in total.

Detective Inspector Rhys Jones said: “Rhoden was arrested on suspicion of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply, and stated to officers that she had been sent to Llanelli to sell drugs by a man from the Birmingham area.

“This significant statement added to our suspicions that this warrant had disrupted a county lines operation supplying drugs from the West Midlands into Dyfed-Powys.

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“A significant quantity of heroin was seized – some found in a plastic bag, with the rest separated into 40 wraps for onward supply.”

The occupant of the flat – 35-year-old Pollard – was also arrested and taken to police custody for interview.

The pair were charged with possession of a class A drug with intent to supply, which they admitted at court on March 8.

They appeared at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, March 22, where Rhoden was sentenced to 31 months in prison, and Pollard was sentenced to four years in prison.

DI Jones said: “One of the force’s policing priorities is to target the ongoing national issue concerning organised crime groups from big cities bringing class A drugs to smaller towns to supply.

“There have been approximately 10 deaths believed to have been caused by heroin overdoses in Carmarthenshire in the past 12 months, which shows the extent and seriousness of the problem we are facing.

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“In proactively targeting people and properties we believe are involved in the supply of drugs, we are actively disrupting county lines gangs, and making it more difficult for these potentially fatal substances to be bought and used.

“I would like to reassure the community that we will continue our endeavours to target these individuals.”

Chief Inspector Jolene Mann added: “This positive result was achieved thanks to the efforts of a range of departments in working together against drugs use and supply.

“We hope this sends a message of reassurance to the people of Llwynhendy that the safety of their community is our priority.”

A third person who was arrested during the warrant was released with no further action.

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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