GRANDAD Brian Morrelle, 68, was jailed after a jury convicted him of launderingmoney for his former son-in-law, the second in command of a heroin supplying gang.
Judge Niclas Parry, sitting at Mold Crown Court, told Morrelle, a retired steelworker, that he had been convicted on overwhelming evidence.
“You tried to pull the wool over the jury’s eyes,” the judge said.
“You knew full well what you were doing when you helped Simon Calvert.”
The judge said Morrelle, as a money launderer, was playing a critical role.
Drugs crimes could not function unless people like him were prepared to assist.
“It is people like you they turn to, because you are less likely to be suspected.
“It makes the police task of detecting proceeds of crime very difficult.”
Morrelle was a man of good character who had worked hard all his life and was a devoted family man. The sentence would be one of four months’ immediate custody, he said.
Following the conviction, defending barrister Nicholas Williams said that while Morrelle maintained his position, on the jury’s verdict it was a one-off act involving £6,000.
It was all handed back and he had received no reward for doing it.
An investigation under The Proceeds of Crime Act now takes place.
Prosecuting barrister Simon Medland QC told the jury how police seized more than £10,000 in cash from his council flat at Ger y Pistyll at Nercwys, near Mold, in June last year.
A covert listening device had been placed at the home of Simon Calvert in Bryn Road, Connah’s Quay and he had been recorded asking for money from Morrelle.
It was the prosecution case that Morrelle had laundered money for Simon Calvert in December 2010.
Morrelle claimed all the money taken by police from the flat was his. He described himself as a miser who would starve to save himself a fiver. He said he had been a compulsive saver all his life.
Some of the money in a savings account was to pay for his own funeral expenses, he claimed.
He denied knowing that Calvert was a heroin dealer, said he did not know how he made his money, and said the only cash he had looked after for him was given to him in an envelope for him to look after at Christmas so he did not spend it.
Morrelle said he had gone on holiday to Turkey with Simon Calvert, Calvert’s mother Margaret and the grandchildren, but denied the holiday was some sort of payment for him to look after the drugs money.
The prosecution was part of a much larger case where Richard “Peppe” Calvert had organised the importation of heroin from Thailand through Amsterdam via Liverpool to North Wales.
Simon Calvert was the second in command, his sister Maria and his mother Margaret, were all involved, and they had all pleaded guilty.
In May Peppe Calvert, 32, said to have aspired for a life of luxury, was jailed for seven years for organising a “conspiracy to import drugs from South East Asia to poison the streets of North Wales”.
His brother Simon Calvert, 37, received five years. Both admitted conspiracy to import heroin between December 2010 and June last year, and a second conspiracy to launder money.
Their sister Maria Calvert, 35, a mother of four, formerly of Bagillt but now of Church Street, Connah’s Quay, received three years for money laundering and being involved in the supply of heroin.
The mother Margaret Rose Calvert, 63, was jailed for 21 months for money laundering – but that sentence meant her immediate release because of the time she has served on remand.