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Carmarthenshire

Nine cocaine traffickers await sentencing after admitting conspiracy to supply

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Nine people from Swansea and Llanelli have admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs as part of a gang trafficking cocaine into Carmarthenshire.

Dyfed-Powys Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Team has dismantled an organised crime gang transporting the class A drug between Swansea and Pontarddulais into Llanelli as part of an undercover investigation named Operation Elegant.

The team carried out a series of 19 pre-planned warrants at homes across Llanelli in October 2020 after receiving information that the occupants were concerned in the supply of cocaine.

Officers had already searched the West End address of Neville Ayres following a stop check the previous month, which saw over 255g of cocaine with a street value of more than £22,700 seized from the footwell of his car.

The warrants resulted in the arrest of 13 people suspected of being involved in a conspiracy to supply cocaine into Llanelli between May and October 2020.

Nine people were charged and admitted the offence at Swansea Crown Court.

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Some of the drugs seized in the operation (Image: Dyfed Powys Police)

Detective Constable Mark Jones, who headed up the operation, said: “This was a significant operation for the force, and in particular the Carmarthenshire division, with officers from a number of departments involved in planning and executing the warrants, examining the seized items, interviewing all 13 suspects and putting together a strong file of evidence for the CPS.

“Thanks to the hard work of all those involved, charges for conspiracy to supply class A drugs were brought against nine defendants – all of whom have now admitted the offence.

“There’s no doubt that the involvement of this many people in the supply of drugs in one area was linked to an organised crime gang operating on a larger scale, and our work will have seriously disrupted this supply chain into the county.

“I would like to thank the investigation team for their dedication and commitment, and reassure people living in Llanelli that we will continue to act on their concerns about drugs use and supply in the area.”

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The following defendants are due to be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court next month:

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  • Laura Coelho, aged 28, of Bond Avenue, Llanelli
  • Neville Ayres, aged 42, of West End, Llanelli
  • Rebecca Viola, aged 36, of Cae Glas, Llanelli
  • Jordan Dale Parry, aged 25, of Dilwyn Street, Llanelli
  • Keiran Price, aged 28, of Tirgoff, Llangennech
  • Jeffrey Parker-Ward, aged 23, of Stepney Street, Llanelli
  • Daniel Rhodri Evans, aged 29, of Heol Elfed, Llanelli
  • Shaun Hearne, aged 27, of Isgraig, Burry Port
  • Aaron Hookway, aged 25, of Station Road, Fforestfach
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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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