Member of drug gang sentenced to ten years
A Keynsham drug dealer is one of 13 men who have been sentenced to a total of more than 100 years in jail after police busted a £3 million cocaine ring operating across the South West.
Brian Barrett, 48, of Ashcroft Avenue, was given ten years in prison for his part in the gang's work, which saw them smuggle the drug from London along the M4 corridor to the west.
Although some members had already been sentenced earlier this year, legal restrictions mean that the jail terms can only now be reported.
The gang was brought to justice following a major police operation involving officers from Avon and Somerset police's Serious Crime Group, and the Gloucestershire, Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police forces.
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Between September 2010 and July last year, police activity saw couriers intercepted and raids in Bristol, Gloucestershire and London, with cocaine with a street value of more than £1 million seized.
Prosecutors said the organisers of the gang were Laurence Kilby of Cheltenham, who was jailed for 18 years, Richard Jones of Bradley Stoke, who was jailed for 15 years, Mark Poole of Portishead, who was jailed for nine years and four months, and Serbian national Vladan Vujovic, who was jailed for 18 years.
Detective Inspector Stephen Coghlan, from Avon and Somerset's Serious Crime Group, said: "This is an important investigation that demonstrates our commitment to tackling serious and organised crime across our force area and beyond.
"Working together with our colleagues at Gloucestershire Police, this operation has put 13 people behind bars, some of whom have received substantial custodial sentences which together total more than 100 years. Large quantities of high purity cocaine has been recovered and two significant criminal networks dismantled."
He added: "Drugs have a devastating impact on our communities and, as we have seen in this case, those that deal them often live privileged lifestyles at the expense of the more vulnerable members of society.
"We will now look to ensure these individuals do not benefit in any way from their crimes by the recovery of assets."