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Operation Cryptic: All twenty one members of organised crime group now sentenced

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TWENTY ONE MEMBERS of an organised crime group have been brought to justice, taking those criminals and their drugs of the streets of Llanelli.

The final phase of sentencing took place this week (March 29) at Swansea Crown Court for Operation Cryptic, which has seen 21 defendants sentenced to over 70 years between them.

The sentencing for this operation has been taking place over a number of months – but today sees the conclusion of that process, police confirmed.

A police spokesperson said :”Cryptic was a protracted investigation by the Dyfed-Powys Police Serious and Organised Crime Team between February and September 2018 that focused on the supply of Class A drugs, namely heroin, in the Llanelli area. The focus was on identifying, arresting and prosecuting those involved in the sourcing, storing, preparation and supply of heroin. The investigation culminated in an enforcement phase which resulted in the arrest of these individuals.

Chief Inspector Richard Hopkin told The Llanelli Herald: “This result marks the successful outcome of Operation Cryptic after these 21 defendants have been sentenced to over 70 years in prison collectively. This means that we have successfully disrupted a series of widespread and far reaching conspiracies to supply and distribute vast amounts of drugs in the Llanelli area.
“Our Serious and Organised Crime Team are to be congratulated on the result of this challenging and demanding prolonged operation, where they used a range of tactics available to them to infiltrate the group’s operation. Drugs misuse creates misery and despair and causes significant harm to our communities. And despite highly successful previous operations, the community of Llanelli continued to tell us of their concerns in respect of visible drug related harm in the town. Intelligence also suggested that heroin continued to be readily accessible in the town, and these factors resulted in this investigation and robust action.
“A number of divisional and specialist resources and departments played a part in making this successful.
“We hope that this sends a clear message to those involved in supplying and distributing drugs – there is nowhere to hide, and we will take robust action. We are determined to continue to ensure the Dyfed-Powys Police area remains a hostile environment for those involved in the misuse of drugs. Drugs will not be tolerated, and anyone concerned in it will be brought to justice for the harm caused to individuals, families and our communities.”

A police spokesman added that pursuing this ‘organised crime group’ was only one element of the operation, and said that Dyfed-Powys Police worked closely with partners in healthcare as well as the local drugs support agency Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service (DDAS) during the enforcement phase, and they were present throughout to provide support in respect of drug abuse, addiction and rehabilitation.

The police said that if anyone is worried about drugs in their community, call 101. You can also report information anonymously, by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Those sentenced were as follows:

39 year old Kelly ROBERTS from Swansea was today sentenced to 6 months suspended for 18 months.
25 year old Ben CAULFIELD rom Swansea – 10 years
55 year old Bridgette WILLLIAMS from Llanelli – 8 years
35 year old Jade WILLIAMS from Llanelli – 8 years
29 year old George HAWKINS from Llanelli – 40 months
65 year old Janice HAWKINS from Llanelli – 36 months
35 year old Debbie WOOD from Llanelli – 4 years
48 year old James MOCHAN  from Llanelli – 4 years
32 year old Allica EVANS from Llanelli – 24 months suspended for 18 months
31 year old Kelly Marie EVANS from Llanelli – 20 months suspended for 18 months
26 year old Lee JOHN from Llanelli – 40 months
37 year old Christopher Daniel MORRIS from Llanelli – 40 months
35 year old Wayne JENKINS from Llanelli – Suspended sentence
27 year old Stacey CHARLES from Llanelli – 28 months
37 year old Carwyn BIGNELL from Llanelli – 40 months + 2 months concurrent for possession of bladed article
23 year old Emily JONES from Llanelli – 28 months
41 year old Jeremy PEGLER from Llanelli – 40 months
54 year old John Paul BEGAN from Swansea – 6 ½ years
19 year old Zain THOMAS from Birmingham – 60 months
24 year old Eugene BRANNIGAN from Birmingham – 41 months
32 year old Daniel CROFT from Swansea – 9 months

Drugs and cash found during one raid (Pic DPP)

Drugs found in raid (Pic: DPP)

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Llanelli Town Mayor hosted the Easter Family Fun Day

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Llanelli Town Mayor David Darkin and Mayoress Kim Darkin with Cllr Suzy Curry and Cllr John Prosser also Nia Nia Griffith MP

ON Saturday 20th April Llanelli Town Mayor hosted the Easter Family Fun Day in the Selwyn Samuel Centre Arena.

The day was a huge success and raised lots of money for the mayors chosen charities – the main charity bring CYCA which provides support to children and young people in Carmarthenshire.

Attendees were treated to taster sport sessions with Rugby Tots, a selection of songs from Shrek Jr from the Hive Theatre Company, magic and fun from Crazy Clayton and a very special visit from Belle who sung songs and played games with the children.

Emergency services information stalls

The event was supported by many local community groups and even had a fire engine pop in for a visit.

Asda llanelli donated some of the Easter eggs and a huge thank you to other raffle prize donors including Joe’s ice cream, hungry horse and berridge-Jones photography.

Cllr David Darkin would like to thank everyone who supported and gave their time to make the event the success it was.

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Wales’ Largest Ever Coastal Walking Festival Launches May

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THIS May a new walking festival celebrating seven years of the 870-mile coast path will take place. The festival’s aim is to encourage locals across Wales to get outdoors, meet new people and appreciate the beautiful Welsh landscapes.

Walks will cover seven coastal regions will be organised by the Wales Coast Path and Ramblers Cymru.

The festival not only aims to showcase Wales’ beautiful coastline and countless natural assets, the Wales Coast Path Walking Festival will also boost local tourism along the path whilst encouraging residents to come together to celebrate the country’s iconic coastline.

Taking place 4th -19th May 2019, the festival will feature over 40 new guided walks created by Ramblers Cymru. The festival programme has been specifically designed to suit all ages and abilities, with the majority of the walks free to join.

From fully accessible and short family walks tonature walks and more challenging hikes, the festival aims to encourage people to enjoy outdoor exercise while exploring Wales’ iconic coastline. All walks will be led by experienced guides offering insights into the unique wildlife, fascinating history and culture that can be found along the way.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “This festival is set to be an excellent addition to Wales’ Year of Discovery and a way for visitors and locals to discover more about our unique Wales Coast Path. I’m delighted that the guided walks will encourage people to find out more about the landscape, history and wildlife associated with the coastal path and will also be an excellent way to be active while discovering more of Wales.”

Local authorities for each of the seven coastal regions, which include South Wales, The Gower, Ceredigion, the Llŷn Peninsula, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen, and North Wales, will help support the event, along with partners National Resources Wales, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and a number of charities including Keep Wales Tidy.

The festival, which coincides with Visit Wales’ Year of Discovery 2019, will follow a theme of discovery which will be prominent throughout. The Wales Coast Path is the world’s first uninterrupted route along a national coast and gives hikers access to undiscovered sections of the coast with stunning views, rugged landscapes and rare wildlife.

To learn more about the Wales Coast Path walking festival or book walks visit: www.walescoastpath.gov.uk

Register to attend the festival: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/wales-coast-path-walking-festival-2019-18812644097

Admission free (additional charges for linear walks where transport is required).

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Swansea Bay City Deal leaders are supporting Neath Port Talbot Council’s proposals for changes

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SWANSEA Bay City Deal leaders are supporting Neath Port Talbot Council’s proposal to amend some of their projects due to be part-funded by the £1.3 billion investment programme.

Any amended or enhanced projects, they say, will be progressed through City Deal governance and approval processes before submission to the Welsh Government and UK Government for consideration.

This follows on from the City Deal’s Joint Committee accepting all recommendations arising from two reviews into the City Deal, which included enabling flexibility in the investment programme to bring new projects in if they’re beneficial to the region.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee Chairman, says a Neath Port Talbot Council call for the City Deal to change approach is also being put in place.

Cllr Stewart said: “As a Joint Committee, we have accepted all recommendations from the City Deal reviews, and work is ongoing to implement them as soon as possible.

“These include the appointment of an independent programme director to manage the City Deal, as well as flexibility to amend or enhance projects forming part of the investment programme if they’re good for the region.

“The City Deal is still at an early stage of its development, but we’re doing all we can to make governance and project approval processes more efficient to speed up the investment programme’s delivery.

“It would be too great a risk for communities and businesses in Neath Port Talbot to miss out on City Deal investment, so we stand ready to help Neath Port Talbot Council move their projects forward.

“All City Deal partners remain committed to delivery. It’s widely recognised that the City Deal presents a once in a generation opportunity to create considerable economic growth and well-paid jobs across the region as a whole.”

The independent review into the City Deal commissioned by both governments recommended immediate approval for two City Deal projects – the ‘Yr Egin’ creative sector development in Carmarthen, and the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District.

Cllr Stewart said: “We expect funds to be released for these projects imminently.

“We also welcome Neath Port Talbot Council’s continued commitment to the regional Homes as Power Stations project, which will help people save money on their energy bills by introducing cutting-edge energy-efficient technology to both new houses and existing buildings throughout South West Wales.”

The Swansea Bay City Deal investment programme is due to be funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector. It’s being led by the four regional councils – Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea – in partnership with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea University, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

The City Deal is projected to create over 9,000 high-quality jobs and give the regional economy a £1.8 billion boost in coming years.

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