A Birmingham teenager who trafficked a child to Llanelli to sell drugs was sentenced on Friday, May 3 2019, in the first prosecution of its kind by Dyfed-Powys Police.
Harrison James Coe, aged 18, of Sutton Coldfield, will face four-and-a-half-years in prison for his crimes. He will serve half of his sentence in a young offenders institution before going on license.
He pleaded guilty to trafficking a 14-year-old to sell drugs, and six counts of supplying and possessing heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis, in April 2019.
Coe was arrested in March 2019 after officers pulled his car over on the outskirts of Llanelli,
suspecting it had links to organised crime.
A small amount of cannabis was found hidden in his underwear, and he later passed a package containing crack cocaine and heroin, with a street value of around £1900, while in police custody.
He was detained there for 36 hours while police officers searched for a missing boy they suspected was with him. It later transpired Coe had trafficked the child to the Morfa area to sell drugs.
The child, who is not local to Carmarthenshire, was found within 24 hours of Coe’s arrest, and reunited with his family.
The case is the first conviction of County Lines related child trafficking for Dyfed-Powys Police, with the victim also thought to be the youngest in Wales (in a County Lines case).
Chief Inspector for Operations in Carmarthenshire, Richard Hopkin, said: “Harrison Coe is one of a number of people linked to the County Lines drugs supply network who have been prosecuted in Carmarthenshire over the past few months.
“Coe had only been in Llanelli a matter of days when officers, acting swiftly on information, arrested him. Their diligent and expeditious enquires led to him pleading guilty at court, due to the strength of evidence uncovered by the investigation team.
“The speed with which Coe was arrested and finally convicted at court sends out a clear message – Dyfed-Powys Police takes the supply of drugs in our communities seriously, and will endeavour to do everything they can to bring those who supply drugs, be it County Lines or otherwise, to justice as quickly as possible.
“I want to reassure the public across Carmarthenshire that we are working closely with partners to reduce drug misuse within our communities, to make it a less lucrative market for drug suppliers to operate in, and in doing so, make Carmarthenshire a safer place to live.”
What is County Lines?
County Lines is an emerging national issue, where organised crime groups from urban areas such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham put children and vulnerable adults between themselves and the risk of detection by manipulating them into carrying and selling drugs.
‘Runners’ will be sent across county boundaries to areas like Llanelli, Newtown, and Haverfordwest to deliver and/or sell Class A drugs at the other end of the line.
The County Lines groups tend to use a local property, generally belonging to a vulnerable person, sometimes drug users, as a base for their activities. This is known as ‘cuckooing’ and will often happen by force or coercion.
Signs to Look Out For
Here are some signs to look out for, that can suggest someone is being cuckooed:
An increase in people coming and going
An increase in cars or bikes outside
Signs of drugs use
You haven’t seen the person who lives there recently or when you have, they have been
anxious or distracted.
Here are some signs to look out for, that can suggest a child you know might be involved in county lines activity:
Are they always going missing from school or their home?
Are they travelling alone to places far away from home?
Do they suddenly have lots of money/lots of new clothes/new mobile phones?
Are they receiving much more calls or texts than usual?
Are they carrying or selling drugs?
Are they carrying weapons or know people that have access to weapons?
Are they in a relationship with or hanging out with someone/people that are older and
Do they have unexplained injuries?
Do they seem very reserved or seem like they have something to hide?
Do they seem scared?
Are they self-harming?
Report suspicious activity or concerns about the selling and taking of drugs in your community by calling 101. To report information anonymously, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Children and young people can report information anonymously by visiting www.fearless.org.
Conservatives in disarray over alleged Christmas party lockdown breach
THE CONSERVATIVE Party is investigating the attendance of senior Senedd members and staff at a Christmas party held during December’s lockdown.
Lockdown restrictions prohibit mixing with people outside your own household.
The Welsh restrictions barring such gatherings follow the basic outline of those imposed by the Conservative UK Government in December.
Those attending the drinks party included Paul Smith, the Conservative Chief of Staff at the Senedd, Darren Millar, the Party’s Chief Whip and campaign coordinator, and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS and Conservative Senedd Group Leader Paul Davies.
The Herald understands that a Labour Senedd Member who attended the Party has been suspended by the Labour Senedd Group pending its own investigation.
The Conservatives’ embarrassment at talking the talk but not walking the walk is intensified by Darren Millar’s presence at the shindig.
In May, Mr Millar led calls for Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething to be sacked for eating a bag of chips in a park with one of his own children.
If the Conservative Party follows the logic of their previously stated positions, Mr Millar’s and Mr Davies’ futures look bleak indeed.
With a Senedd election only months away, the revelations have thrown the Conservatives into disarray.
If they do nothing, the Conservatives will – at the very least – face claims they are hypocrites.
If the Conservative Party acts decisively, it faces massive internal problems.
The Conservatives responded to our request for a response to our story.
Those involved stressed they did not host a Christmas Party.
The incident happened on December 8, when the above met in the members’ tea room to discuss legislation for possible inclusion in the Welsh Conservative manifesto with a Labour backbencher.
During the evening they did drink a glass or two of wine.
They stress that at no point were there more than four people in the room at any one time and that they maintained social distancing.
A joint statement from Paul Davies, Darren Millar, and Paul Smith said: “We are profoundly sorry for our actions.
“While we did not break the rules, we recognise that what was part of a day’s work would not be seen to be following the spirit of them, especially given the tough time the country has been going through.”
Family tribute to Carole Patricia Fowler
Carole was a teacher for 30 years at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Llanelli. She loved children and they loved her.
As one of her past colleagues said: “I know she made such a difference to every child she taught.” She was very popular with staff and well respected and loved by parents. She was dedicated and conscientious, always 100% for the children. She led the music there and was always popular with her guitar accompaniments for services and concerts.
Likewise, she was a valued member of the choir at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, Gendros, Swansea, where she would often accompany hymns with her guitar and gave guitar lessons to the children in the church’s Saturday Music Club. She was also a keen member of Côr Persain, Ammanford.
She was talented, loved and in demand. A convicted and devout Catholic all her life, through good and bad.
Carole was an avid and very gifted crocheter and was always crocheting or knitting something for someone. She had been spending her time recently, during the Covid crisis, crocheting NHS teddies in scrubs and rainbows, with many given to practising nurses. Carole had recently started learning to make bobbin lace. She was also capable of some very decent sewing, too.
She was also learning Welsh, doing ‘pilates’ and was considering taking up yoga lessons as well.
She was a busy lady! As one of her work colleagues said of her: “She was wise, strong, beautiful, generous, devout and feisty. And I loved her for all those qualities.”
Above all, she was an immeasurably loved Mam, daughter, sister and a doting Mamgu and so much loved by her fiancé. Having been together for 14 years, they would have been married last July 20th had covid allowed!
Her premature passing at 61 is tragic and she is already sorely, painfully missed. She leaves behind a huge chasm in so many hearts that cannot be filled.
“Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, may perpetual light shine about her, may she rest in peace.”
If anyone witnessed the collision or may have been travelling on the M4 at the relevant time, please contact the Serious Collision Unit quoting police reference DPP-20210113-317
Police can be contacted either online at: bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.
Tip off leads to pensioner’s drug stash
A BRIEFCASE full of drugs has been recovered during a raid in Swansea suburb.
Police acting on information provided by a member of the public executed a warrant in Gorseinon and recovered a large quantity of cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of possession of the class B drug, with intent to supply.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “At around 5.40pm on Wednesday, January 6, following an intelligence led operation, a 68 year-old man from Gorseinon was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
“He was taken to Swansea central police station for questioning. He has been released under investigation”.