TWELVE people have been jailed for a total of almost 50 years for their involvement in a large scale drugs operation in Wrexham.

A total of thirteen people appeared for sentencing at Mold Crown Court on Wednesday.

They were:

  • Adrian Brindley, aged 44 and of Pont Wen in Caia Park
  • Ryan Edwards, aged 33 and of Llay Place Avenue in Llay
  • Thomas Faulds, aged 25 and of Sefton Road in Old Colwyn
  • John Griffiths, aged 26 and of Plas Alyn in Summerhill
  • Richard Griffiths, aged 42 and of Willow Bridge Court in Wrexham
  • Sion Griffiths, aged 34 and of Maes Meurig in Gwalchmai, Anglesey
  • Dwayne Pritchard, aged 22 and of Offa Street in Johnstown
  • Jayne Pritchard, aged 45 and of no fixed abode
  • Aled Roberts, aged 24 and of Holborn Crescent in Brynteg
  • Blake Roberts, aged 35 and of Llewelyn Rd in Tanyfron
  • Glyn Edwards, aged 37 and of no fixed abode
  • Stuart Clarke, aged 31 and of no fixed abode
  • Gemma Pearce, aged 34 and of Bryn Offa in Wrexham

John Philpotts, prosecuting, said Richard Griffiths was the head of the group and orchestrated sub dealers, below whom there were street dealers.

Sion Griffiths was the second in command, the court heard, and would operate during the evening until 4am from Monday to Friday before returning to his Anglesey home.

North Wales Pioneer: Image: North Wales PoliceImage: North Wales Police

Police began investigating in August of 2018 after financial enquiries revealed a significant increase in Richard Griffiths' bank balance following his release from HMP Berwyn, where he had met Sion Griffiths.

In February 2020, a police strike day saw arrests and searches carried out. At Richard Griffiths' address himself and Sion Griffiths and Tomas Faulds were arrested.

Cash totalling £16,300 was recovered, along with a number of tic tac boxes - which the court heard was a 'hallmark' for the case as the group used them to transport drugs.

Also recovered were 35 phones and a number of dealers lists.

Judge Niclas Parry described the operation as "sophisticated and exceptionally well organised," with the total street value of the substances seized reaching between £70,000 and £104,000.

North Wales Pioneer: Image: North Wales PoliceImage: North Wales Police

Paul Smith, defending Richard Griffiths, said: "Unlike many other conspiracies this court has seen, the hierarchy is quite compressed.

"Mr Griffiths was repeatedly very closely associated with others and involved with those dealing at street level.

"This is not case where the pyramid stretches long way."

Richard Edwards, defending Sion Griffiths, said: "What started out as trying to work legitimately spraying cars for Richard [Griffiths] ultimately turned to his involvement in this conspiracy."

Judge Parry said Richard Griffiths appeared to have made "great financial gain," and had embarked on the operation soon after his previous sentence ended.

"You, Sion Griffiths, worked tirelessly to further the success of this conspiracy," the Judge said. "You had very much a hands-on role, ensuring all went to plan."

Richard Griffiths received a custodial sentence of six years and eight months.

Sion Griffiths was jailed for five years and seven months.

North Wales Pioneer: Drugs recovered. Image: North Wales PoliceDrugs recovered. Image: North Wales Police

The court heard John Griffiths, the nephew of Richard Griffiths, was a 'sub-dealer' in the operation, but that he has struggled with his mental health for a number of years and is diagnosed with features of mental and behavioural disorders.

Judge Parry told him he's have "had an awareness and understanding" of the operation, handing him a custodial sentence of five years and two months.

Glyn Edwards was stopped in a vehicle in which cocaine was found, the hearing was told, and had previously received a seven years sentence for supplying cocaine.

Robert Edwards, defending, said at the time of the offences his client was addicted to class A drugs.

Since being taken into custody, he has 'engaged well' and has caused no problems in prison, he added.

North Wales Pioneer: Drugs recovered. Images: North Wales PoliceDrugs recovered. Images: North Wales Police

Judge Parry handed Glyn Edwards a sentence of five years and four months.

Blake Roberts lived in a large rural property used for distribution, the court heard.

Philip Clemo, defending, said his client accepted having a significant role in the operation.

He received a four year and six month jail sentence.

Stuart Clarke had a "close link" to the head of the operation. Just months after being stopped by the police, he was stopped again and was found in possession of cocaine and dealer's lists.

Andrew Green, defending, emphasised Clarke's guilty plea - telling the court he has also suffered a personal tragedy.

He received a four year and eight month jail term.

North Wales Pioneer: Cash found. Images: North Wales PoliceCash found. Images: North Wales Police

Thomas Faulds was described as having a 'consistent role' in the conspiracy.

Dafydd Roberts, defending, asked the court to take into account his plea and lack of previous convictions.

Judge Parry handed him a sentence of five years and one month.

Aled Roberts, described as a street dealer, received a jail term of four years and 32 months.

Adrian Brindley, described as a 'tester', was jailed for two years and four months.

Jayne Pritchard, described by the Judge as a street dealer, was sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment.

Ryan Edwards and Dwayne Pritchard both received sentences of two years and four months.

Gemma Pearce received a 12 month sentence, but it was suspended for 18 months.

The court heard she was the partner of the main conspirator and had received funds in her bank.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Mark Hughes said: "This Organised Crime Group was well organised and sophisticated.

"This presented us with a number of investigative difficulties which I am pleased to say we overcame through continued and persistent hard work.

"I am delighted with today’s sentences, as this demonstrates that as a force, we are determined to bring people who bring misery to the towns and villages of north Wales to justice.

"I would like to thank the community for their support during our investigations.

"We will continue to work to achieve our vision of making north Wales the safest place in the UK."