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Dyfed Powys Police

Men jailed after force’s largest ever heroin seizure

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A significant Aberystwyth drug dealer has been jailed for his part in the possession and supply of heroin worth £170,000, as well as attempting to escape from police custody.

Michael James Price was charged with possessing heroin with intent to supply following a stop search by Dyfed-Powys Police, which resulted in the force’s largest ever heroin seizure.

Officers recovered approximately 1kg of the class A drug – worth an estimated £125,000 in street value – following a stop search in Aberystwyth on May 14.

Price, aged 48, of South Road in Aberystwyth, was already under investigation for being concerned in the supply of heroin worth £45,000 following a warrant in August 2020.

He was stopped by officers after enquiries were made into a car linked to an organised crime gang, which had travelled to Aberystwyth for short periods of time five times in six weeks.

Officers witnessed Price and a man later found to be John James Rooney carrying out an exchange in the castle grounds at around 9am on May 14, 2021. The car was parked nearby.

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Detective Sergeant Steve Jones, of the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: “Price was searched by officers, who found a carrier bag containing 35 smaller plastic bags of heroin in his jacket pocket.

“These drugs had the potential to be split into 12,500 individual street deals.

“The recovery of this quantity of heroin is unprecedented in Dyfed-Powys and would have caused an untold amount of devastation to the community.”

Price, was immediately arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

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John James Rooney, aged 44, of no fixed address, was later located by the Powys Roads Policing Unit, and was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

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He had £2,325 in cash on his person, which he claimed was made up of wages, despite later claiming to be unemployed.

DS Jones said: “A thorough investigation was carried out into the two men, including drugs analysis, digital and financial enquiries, and DNA testing, which proved both Price and Rooney’s fingerprints were present on a number of the bags of heroin.”

Evidence led to Rooney being charged with supplying heroin, acquiring, using or possessing criminal property – namely £2,325 in cash, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

He admitted the offence and was sentenced to four-and-a-half at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, July 12.

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For the incident in May, Price was charged with possessing heroin with intent to supply.

He was also charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin in connection with a drug warrant at a home in Aberystwyth in August 2020, where heroin worth £45,000 was located.

Price’s fingerprints were found on a bag containing 28g of heroin, as well as on a vent behind which the drugs were hidden.

He was further charged with attempting to escape lawful custody following an incident which saw him attempt to scale a 10ft high gate in an attempt to flee from custody.

He admitted all offences, and was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison.

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Following sentencing, DS Jones said: “We are pleased to see both men put behind bars for their parts in supplying this devastating drug to Aberystwyth.

“Price has been involved in the supply of heroin for a significant period of time, and has two previous convictions for the offence.

“He clearly continues to play a role in supplying class A drugs in Aberystwyth, which no doubt is to maintain his own habit.

“I’m confident he would have continued selling controlled drugs had he not been imprisoned, in order to pay back the debt of losing these drugs.”

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(All images: Dyfed Powys Police)


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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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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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Ammanford

Police appeal after cyclist dies in Garnant accident

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Dyfed Powys Police have issued an appeal after a cyclist died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Friday (6 May).

The accident took place around 8.45pm outside the Discovery Book Shop on Cwmamman Road in Garnant, Ammanford.

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A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police said: “Sadly the 58 year-old male rider of the pedal cycle sustained serious injuries and passed away in hospital.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen the pedal cycle at the relevant time, or who may have dashcam footage if they travelled along this stretch of road at the time, to get in touch.

“Also local residents and business owners are asked to contact Police if they have any CCTV footage covering the location.”

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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