A gang of Somerset drug dealers have been jailed for more than 35 years for supplying millions of pounds worth of drugs across the Westcountry.
The convictions followed an investigation by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU). The team were able to access the now defunct communications network EncroChat to monitor the criminals.
Four men, Anes Troudi, 40, Adnan Malik, 33, Carl Powell, 50 and Gary Browne, 39 all pleaded guilty before being sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, November 3.
Malik, who was arrested in November 2022, was sentenced to nine years in prison for conspiracy to supply 6 kilos of cocaine, which he bought from Troudi. Jewellery and designer clothes totalling more than £100,000 in value were seized from Malik's home, in addition to a Porsche car.
Browne was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for conspiracy to supply 5 kilos of cocaine, also purchased from Troudi, in addition to a conviction for intent to supply an additional three-quarters of a kilo of cocaine and 40 kilos of cannabis. Arresting officers seized more than £32,000 in cash from his van.
Powell, who police describe as a 'trusted associate' of Browne, was handed a suspended sentence and spared jail.
Commenting, Detective Inspector Matt Houghton of the SWROCU said: "Troudi, Malik and Browne were embedded in organised crime and I’m pleased to see the court handed down significant sentences to them. The assets seized from Malik alone show the amount of money being made and the lifestyle being financed through the distribution of harmful drugs. Thanks to the invaluable assistance from the CPS’s Complex Casework Unit we were able to stop significant quantities of drugs being supplied across our region.”
Ben Samples, Head of the Complex Casework Unit for CPS South West, added: “After close cooperative work with our partners, we were able to present a compelling case that proved these four defendants each played key roles in the supply of dangerous drugs worth millions of pounds.
“Their intention was clear, to make as much money as possible with no regard to the misery and destruction that is caused by this activity.
“Today’s result sends a loud message to those involved – we will not tolerate this activity and will not hesitate to prosecute those found to be involved in the supply of dangerous drugs.
“Drug-related crime is corrosive – it damages not only those involved in buying and selling and their families, but the communities in which they live. The CPS is committed to working with the police to disrupt the supply of drugs by bringing those involved to justice and ensuring they do not profit from their criminality.”