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Police monitored mobile phones to bust pounds 285,000 cocaine deal.

A HUGE drugs operation was foiled by police tracking mobile phone calls, it emerged yesterday.

Two men were jailed for a total of 16 years after being caught red-handed, bringing cocaine with a street value of pounds 285,000 into South Wales.

They were trapped by a major police surveillance operation, involving tracking dozens of mobile phone calls made in the run-up to the drug deal.

Ringleader Colin Lewis and middle man John Rowlands, both 41, were convicted of conspiring to supply Class A drugs.

A court heard Rowlands left Maesteg to travel to London for the drugs deal, under the direction of Lewis.

Prosecutor Ieuan Morris said, He had with him pounds 32,000 to buy a large package of cocaine from a man in the Hounslow area of London.

The consignment of cocaine was en route to South Wales when police chose their moment to swoop.

Cardiff Crown Court was told the drugs were found in the rear footwell of the car being driven by Rowlands.

Meanwhile police continued their observations on Lewis who was waiting for the consignment of top-quality cocaine to arrive at his home in Maesteg.

Mr Morris said, He was clicking his heels and biting his nails, no doubt. His demeanour was frantic, his behaviour agitated. He was making and receiving mobile phone calls.

When he was arrested he told police, Whats all this about?

The court heard the cocaine was analysed and found to be 71% pure cocaine.

Mr Morris told the jury that when cut with other substances the drugs would have a maximum street value of pounds 285,000.

The jury was shown the package of drugs and the bundles of cash used to make the

drugs deal.

The court heard Lewiss palm print and Rowlands fingerprint was found on the box used to ship the money to London.

Mr Morris said, Colin Lewis was the organiser and financier of the conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Rowlands was the middle man.

The court heard Lewis was working as a barman at the Station Hotel in Maesteg, and was landlord to Rowlands, who lived in a flat there.

Lewis of Coegnant Road, Maesteg, was found guilty of conspiring to supply Class A drugs and was jailed for eight years.

Rowlands of the Station Hotel, Maesteg, changed his plea to guilty during the trial and was also jailed for eight years.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 23, 2007
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