Pembroke men face lengthy jail terms over £30,000 drugs operation

Two Pembroke men have been handed lengthy prison sentences along with several others for their roles in a major conspiracy to supply cocaine worth over £30,000.

Christian Hughes, aged 34, and Mark Davies, aged 32, were among five men who were jailed for a total of 23 years by Judge Paul Thomas at Swansea crown court on Tuesday.

One member of the gang was Lee Churcher, aged 32, a Welsh middleweight boxing champion.

Churcher, of Ringland in Newport, his nephew 19 year old Ben Churcher, also from Newport, Michael Ryder, aged 27, of Leach Way, Tenby, Hughes, of Wiston Street, Pembroke, and Davies, from Elm Grove, The Green, Pembroke, all admitted conspiring to supply cocaine between August 2011 and June 2012.

Davies received the highest sentence of seven and a half years and Ryder was jailed for six years. Hughes was sentenced to three years and eight months and Ben Churcher to two and a half years.

A sixth man, Paul Simpson, also from Newport, has already been jailed for four years.

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, said detectives seized 684 grams of the drug during three operations. But it would never be known just how much cocaine was shipped to Pembrokeshire.

He said Davies and Ryder were dealers in west Wales who sourced the drugs from Lee Churcher, who in turn hired his nephew as a courier.

Hughes was also a courier who joined the conspiracy just two weeks after being released from jail for previous offending.

Lee Churcher told police he worked for someone else but was too afraid to name him.

Police tracked the couriers as they made deliveries to Davies, who either owned or had access to a property in Canaston Woods, where he packaged the drugs for onward sale.

Officers bugged the property and heard him discussing drugs deals.

They also monitored traffic between mobile telephones and realised that Davies and Ryder were working together. Both were dealers and had their own customers but co-operated in dealing with Lee Churcher and then shared the drugs.

Davies, he added, appeared to operating on a higher scale. On one occasion police tracked him travelling to Newport and returning to Eagle Lodge and then driving to England to, the prosecution say, deliver drugs.

Judge Thomas said the men had gone into the operation with their eyes wide open and knowing the consequences should they be caught. They calculated the risks, took them and lost.

They had been involved in a significant cocaine venture to take the misery of class A drugs to the countryside of Pembrokeshire, he added.

Judge Thomas commended Dyfed Powys police for "a professional" operation.

Following the sentencing, Dyfed-Powys Polide Detective Inspector Huw Davies said: "We welcome today’s sentences, which sends a clear signal out to the criminal fraternity that drug offences will not be tolerated in Dyfed-Powys and officers will do their utmost to bring cases to court.

"This complex and protracted investigation demonstrates Dyfed-Powys police commitment to investigate all drug offences and bring those responsible to justice."

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