A gang of drug dealers seemingly peddling heroin and cocaine unnoticed in a quiet residential street ended up getting busted all thanks to a lost woman.
The mystery lady was spotted hanging outside a property in Swansea, on September 22, constantly looking at her phone and asking for directions.
Eventually, she was let into a home in the Manselton area of the city, before coming out with something under her top.
This was all witnessed by police officers out on routine patrol – who promptly called for back up before their colleagues raided the flat.
After smashing their way in, police found three drug dealers had barricaded themselves in the bathroom while desperately trying to flush their stash of heroin and cocaine away.
Swansea Crown Court heard as officers ripped the door of its hinges as they entered the room – they found Sion Howells and Ezra Greig blocking the door, while Jason Pinnock was standing over the toilet.
Ian Ibrahim, prosecuting, said officers restrained the men and recovered a number of wraps of drugs from the pipes behind the toilet.
The property was then searched. In total police found 125 wraps of cocaine and 82 wraps of heroin, along with £940 in cash, and mobile phones containing text messages relating to dealing.
All three defendants subsequently gave “no comment” interviews in Swansea Central police station.
However, during his interview 26-year-old Greig became “highly agitated” and kicked out at the screen between himself and the interview officers, causing it to break and injure the constable and detective constable. The defendant then punched one of the officers in face before he himself was punched in the ribs by the other officer as he tried to restrain him.
The court heard both officers suffered cuts and bruising as a result of the assault.
Meanwhile, on two occasions, 24-year-old Pinnock – who is originally from Northamptonshire – spread excrement around his cell.
Greig, of Station Close, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply, and two counts of assaulting an emergency worker when he appeared for sentencing via videolink from Swansea prison. He has 21 previous convictions for 32 offences including possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to supply, affray, possession of an offensive weapon, and five counts of battery.
Pinnock -whose address was listed as Vivian Road, Sketty, Swansea – had previously pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply, and to supplying cocaine when he appeared in the dock via videolink from Cardiff prison for sentencing. He had also previously pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage – soiling his cell – for which magistrates sentenced him to eight weeks in prison. Pinnock has 23 previous offences for 43 offences including supplying heroin and cocaine.
Howells, of Gore Terrace, Mount Pleasant, Swansea, had previously pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply, and to supplying cocaine when he appeared for sentencing. He has one previous conviction for two offences, including drug-driving. The court heard that just a matter of months for being caught in the Manselton flat he had received a police caution for importing cocaine from the Netherlands.
David Singh, for Greig, said the qualified forklift truck driver knew he had to make major changes to his life to avoid ever-increasing sentences in the future. He said the defendant had been working with the psychiatric unit in prison while on remand to address the issues he had.
Andrew Evans, for Pinnock, said the defendant’s first conviction had been at the age of 12, and his first custodial sentence had been imposed at 14. He said such a “disenfranchised youth” had been ripe for being picked up by a gang, and is what had happened.
The advocate said those involved in the supply of Class A drugs “have long memories”, and his client had effectively been sent to Swansea to pay-off what he owed to a gang following his previous conviction and incarceration for drug dealing at Woolwich Crown Court.
Mark Davies, for Howells, said if ever there was a case that highlighted the “horrific” impact drugs have on a life, it was his client’s. He said the 19-year-old defendant had had a promising career as a sports therapist before developing a significant cocaine addiction, leaving his “loving and supportive family”, and going to live “where ever, and with whoever” he could – eventually ending up meeting his two co-accused.
The advocate said Howells realised the mistakes he had made, and was sorry for what he had done.
Judge Paul Thomas QC told the trio they had been caught red-handed dealing drugs from the Manselton flat.
He noted two of the defendants had come to south Wales from the Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire areas, and said: “People who come to Swansea to sell Class A drugs, and who are caught, can expect a very long stay indeed.”
Giving Greig the maximum 20 per cent credit available as a third-strike Class A dealer the judge sentenced him to 67 months in prison. He also sentenced the defendant to three months for the assaults on the police officers to run consecutively, making an overall sentence of 70 months.
Giving Pinnock a 25 per cent discount for his guilty pleas the judge sentenced him to four years.
Giving Howells a discount for his guilty pleas, and allowing for his age, the judge sentenced him to three years detention.
The defendants will serve up to half their sentences in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.
No custody photo of Greig is available.