LLANELLI has now become a “thriving market for drugs” due to a surge in “county lines” gangs, Swansea Crown Court heard last week.
Locals are being targeted by gangs from Birmingham and Liverpool selling Class A drugs such as crack and heroin.
Organised crime groups have been sending dealers – often youngsters with no criminal records to avoid suspicion to Carmarthenshire to set up shop.
The details emerged at the sentencing of a teenager last week who was sent to Llanelli to sell crack cocaine by a criminal gang.
Cameron Davy, 18, of Duncumb Road, Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham was found in a block of flats at Clos Dewi Medi in Morfa, Llanelli with 29 wraps of the class A drug and £1,132 in cash on 10 January.
Swansea Crown Court heard that police knew the teenager was from the Midlands and believed he may have been linked to a ‘county lines’ operation.
Jim Davis, prosecuting, told the court that when police were able to analyse the defendant’s phone they found numerous texts relating to drug deals over the preceding weeks and messages that showed he had regular contact with a criminal drugs gang known to police as “The Marco Line.”
Davy pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply and to possessing criminal property. The court heard he had no previous convictions.
Kate Williams, for Davy, said her client’s dealing had lasted a “couple of weeks” and he had been due to be paid £300 for his trip to Llanelli.
She said the defendant was very much at the bottom of the chain of command of the gang and had declined to name those who had sent him to west Wales. The barrister said when Davy’s mother had received the phone call to say her son was in custody she had no idea where Llanelli was, let alone why he was there.
Williams added that gangs tended to use people with no previous convictions to do their work because they were less likely to come to the attention of police.
Recorder Simon Mills told Davy custody was inevitable for those who dealt in Class A drugs.
Giving the defendant a one-third discount for his guilty pleas he sentenced the teenager to two years four months for the drugs charge, and to eight months for the money laundering charge – the sentences will run concurrently making an overall sentence of two years and four months in youth detention.
Davy will serve half that sentence in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.
The judge said the defendant would still be 19 when he was released from the custodial element of the sentence and he then faced a stark choice.
He told the defendant he would still be “a young man with your whole life ahead of you” and could either stay involved in drugs – becoming “a broken addict looking old beyond your years” or a “hardened thug in a gang facing prison sentences in double figures” – or he could turn his back on that lifestyle and lead a “decent life”.
As he sent him down, Recorder Mills added: “I urge him to think about that moment his mother got the phone call from him.”
Speaking after the sentencing Dyfed-Powys Police detective inspector Andrew Griffiths told The Llanelli Herald that tackling the trade in drugs was a priority for the force.
He said: “Illegal drugs cause misery and they need to be taken off the streets.
“Tackling the issue is a top priority, and I encourage anyone with any information or concerns about drug misuse to contact us. As the sentencing of Cameron Davy shows, we will take action.”
Rapper who bombed wrong house jailed for almost 10 years
A WELSH rapper who accidentley ‘bombed’ a wrong house following a feud with a rival has been labelled ‘pathetic’ and ‘childish’ by a judge before sending them to prison.
Appearing at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Jun 13), Michael Athernought was sentenced to almost 10 years in prison.
The court heard how Athernought, 25 of Tontine Street, Swansea, had thrown a petrol bomb at a house he believed belonged to a fellow rapper Ricky Williams following a feud between the two.
However, the defendant bombed the house of a woman and her teenage son.
The incident happened at a residential property on Clyndu Street, Morriston at around 3am on November 16 of last year.
The woman awoke to a fire alarm going off and neighbours banging her front door.
L;uckily for Helen Davies and her son, neighbours had managed to break her door down and get the pair to safety.
The court heard how Athernought had posted a video directed at Mr Williams where threats were made to ‘burn your house to the ground’ and ‘war means war’.
Athernought was arrested the same day and officers from South Wales Police found a jerrycan of petrol and a towel with pieces missing.
Whilst sentencing, Judge Paul Thomas QC, said: “A more pathetic, childish reason for acting as you did is frankly quite difficult to imagine.
“Instead of acting as a grown-up you decided, because you think of yourself as some sort of pseudo-gangster, to make a video.
“In that video you made threats to burn his house down. It was as graphically threatening as it was pathetically childish.
“In actual fact, due to your incompetence, you got the wrong house.
“Obviously, you seem to think that you can get away with what you want, because you’re in some way above all of that, being, of course, an important rapper.”
Alternought was given an extended sentence of nine years and nine months.
The defendant will serve four years and six months in prison. The remainder of the sentence will be served on licence.
Trimsaran go top after beating Bynea
TRIMSARAN moved to the top of League 3 West B on Saturday (Jan 8) as they beat Bynea 39-5.
It was the only game to be played in the Division as others battled covid-19 cases and waterlogged pitches following overnight rain.
Lee Bates had scored two tries in Trimsaran’s last game before Christmas and he carried on his good form with a hat trick of tries on Saturday.
Iwan Green and Chris Lacey also went over for the home side who were also awarded a penalty try.
There were three conversions and a penalty from Corey Phillips as Trimsaran secured a bonus point win.
Trim now sit top of the table, unbeaten in their opening four games in the league, and they are now level on points with second placed Tumble who have played a game more.
On Saturday, January 15, Trimsaran travel to Tumble while Bynea will look to get back to winning ways when they host New Dock Stars.
PHOTO by Darren Harries
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