How detectives hacked into a £6million plot to flood Wales with cocaine and cannabis

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Police shared pictures of what they described as a “major victory” against drug gangs in Wales. They show a compartment in the floor of a van filled with almost £40,000 in cash, footage of a clandestine meeting in Abergele and a shipment of high-purity cocaine.

All were taken as part of a secret investigation dubbed Operation Blue Cobalt to trap some of the 14 members of two organized crime groups bringing misery to Wales.

The conspirators were jailed at Caernarfon Crown Court this week for plotting to supply cocaine and cannabis in a £6million crime in our area using Encrochat style messages. A judge put 13 of the members behind bars for a total of 109 years and seven months. A fourteenth member will learn his fate later.

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Now North Wales Police have released this footage showing how police tracked the movements of plotters between December 1, 2019 and April 27 last year.

One shows Darren Nelson, 32, and Daniel Crossley, 36, trading drugs and money during a secret meeting near the Kinmel Manor hotel in Abergele on March 1 last year. According to police, Nelson then visited the home in Greenfield of Thomas James Davies, 26, who led a North Wales organized crime group.

In another shot, there is a compartment under the floor of a van, which police say had been stuffed with wads of cash worth £38,000, after Darren Nelson was arrested leaving North Wales on March 16, 2021.



Police say Darren Nelson, 32, traveled to North Wales, under the guise of being a legitimate delivery driver, during the Covid lockdown on March 1 last year. He and Daniel Crossley, 36, were seen meeting on a road off the A55 near the Kinmel Manor hotel in Abergele. An exchange of money and drugs took place.

And a final image is said to show a shipment of high-purity cocaine. Nelson, aided by his courier Richard Wood, 58, had supplied the drugs to an organized crime group based in the Holywell area. Police hailed a “major victory” after successful prosecutions in which each defendant pleaded guilty and no trial was required.

Detective Superintendent Tony Underhill, of the North Wales Police Serious and Organized Crime Unit, said: ‘Today’s sentences are the result of a painstaking undercover operation carried out by a team of dedicated and diligent officers, following information received from the National Crime Agency.

“The scale and sophistication of the operation carried out by these organized crime gangs cannot be overstated, and the disruption of their activities in our region of force was a major victory in the war on drugs.

“We are, as always, indebted to the close working partnership we enjoy with our Merseyside Police colleagues, and criminals should have no illusions that we will continue to work beyond the borders to bring them to justice.”



Police say Darren Nelson, 32, aided by his courier Richard Wood, 58, was supplying high-purity cocaine to Daniel Crossley, 36, and a North Wales organized crime group based in Holywell and run by 26-year-old Thomas James Davies.
Police say Darren Nelson, 32, aided by his courier Richard Wood, 58, was supplying high-purity cocaine to Daniel Crossley, 36, and a North Wales organized crime group based in Holywell and run by 26-year-old Thomas James Davies.

North Wales Police have said they are committed to making their area the safest place in the UK, and today’s sentences go ‘to some extent towards that goal “.

It came as a judge praised everyone involved in both prosecuting and defending the complex case. His Worship Timothy Petts at Caernarfon Crown Court said: “I express my thanks and gratitude to all who have been involved in the detection and prosecution of this case, both in the arms of Liverpool and the North Country. of Wales.

“This was clearly a very large operation which was disrupted and led to long prison sentences for very many people.” He also said defense teams worked hard to seize evidence against their clients.

How it worked

The investigation focused on Daniel Crossley, a resident of the Rhuddlan area, who procured cocaine and cannabis and facilitated the supply of the Tommy Davies Organized Crime Group (OCG) in Flintshire.

Although he served time in prison, Davies used both phones and legitimate devices that had been smuggled into prison. He had trusted the members of his OCG who ran the day-to-day running of the criminal network, including his mother Dawn Davies, 47, his brother Liam Davies, 22, and Sophie Roberts, 26.

Arrangements would be made for either the drugs to be collected from Merseyside, where a courier from North Wales would travel and meet at specific locations, or the courier from Merseyside (Robert Wood and on occasion Darren Nelson) would travel to North Wales and meet for an exchange of money and/or drugs.

Dawn and Sophie received almost daily instructions from Thomas Davies regarding the collection of drug debts, the management of finances and drug deliveries to Holywell. Dawn Davies was assisted by Michael Munnelly, who acted as a debt collector on behalf of the OCG, and a network of individuals who contracted or sold on the street in the Holywell area.

The accused

In total, the eleven men and two women were imprisoned for a total of 109 years and seven months. They understand:

Darren Nelson, 32, of Whitfield Road, Walton, was jailed for 15 years and nine months.

Robert Wood, 58, of Stamfordham Drive, Garston, was jailed for nine years and 11 months.

Daniel Jerome Crossley, 36, of Frances Avenue, Rhyl, was jailed for 10 years.

Dawn Davies, 47, of Nant Y Coed, Holywell, was sent to prison for nine years and six months.

Matthew Daniel Forrester, 27, of Rhodfa Wenlo, Greenfield, was jailed for three years and two months.

Sophie Louise Roberts, 26, of The Close, Greenfield, was jailed for 10 years and four months.

Thomas Arron Wilson, 32, of Cilgant Yr Hen Ysgol, Greenfield, was jailed for eight years and three months.

Liam Davies, 22, of Nant and Coed, Pen and Maes, Holywell, was imprisoned for six years and nine months for conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis resin.

Peter Beecham, 38, of St Brides Road, Egremont, Merseyside, was jailed for five years and three months for conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis resin.

Thomas Davies, 26, of Glan Y Don, Greenfield, Flintshire, was jailed for eleven years and eight months for conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis resin.

Dayle Owens, 31, of River View, New Brighton Road, Bagillt, was imprisoned for eight years for conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis resin.

Michael Munnelly, 40, of Fair View, Pant y Wacco, Lloc, Holywell, was imprisoned for eight years and three months solely for conspiring to supply cocaine.

Charlie McEvilly, 24, of Y Dreflan, Maes Pennant, Flintshire, was jailed for two years and nine months for a lesser offense of being involved in supplying cocaine and cannabis. He was also sent to jail for another six months for breaching a suspended sentence.

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