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Cardiff organised crime group sentenced

Left to right, Cameron Williams, Craig Williams and David Osborne

our men from Cardiff have been convicted of drugs offences and sent to prison for a combined total of more than 23 years.

The men formed an Organised Crime Group who were using encrypted telephones to facilitate the importation and distribution of substantial amounts of class A drugs into the South Wales area.

The investigation – known as Operation Falco – was launched in April 2020 after Tarian, the regional organised crime unit for southern Wales, received intelligence from the National Crime Agency which included messages being sent between the OCG members and associates.

One of the OCG’s regular customers was using the name ‘mercifulalpha’. He was subsequently identified as Cameron Williams from the Ely area of Cardiff.

Williams was a multi-kilogram drug dealer who predominantly supplied cocaine. He purchased between 1-3 kilograms of cocaine at a time splitting them for onward supply.

The messages show Williams was supplied with at least 16 kilograms of cocaine and 1 kilogram of heroin by his suppliers. They also showed he had an outstanding debt of £45,755 having paid off the majority of an initial £283,500 debt. There was an established relationship between him and his suppliers and on three occasions Williams arranged for a courier to collect the drugs from them.

Cameron Williams entered early guilty pleas in relation to conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin and he has been on remand since 2021, awaiting sentence.

Craig Williams, also from the Ely area was a courier that Cameron Williams used to collect heroin from Liverpool twice in April 2020 – bringing some five kilograms back to Cardiff.

In December 2022 Craig Williams failed to attend Cardiff Crown court for trial and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. It was established that he had fled the UK travelling to the USA.

Working in collaboration with the NCA and the DEA Williams was quickly found and a warrant was executed in the US.  However, he had already fled the country, returning to the UK.  He was arrested a few days later in Barry and remanded into custody. Craig Williams entered a guilty plea on the first day of his trial.

David Osborne from Ely was also identified as a courier Cameron Williams used to collect cocaine from his upstream supplier. On 15th May 2020 Osborne travelled to an address in Newport and collect three kilograms of cocaine for Cameron Williams.

In November 2020, Osborne was arrested for his involvement in the collection of cocaine on 15th May 2020.

During the search of his premises cocaine and a set of digital scales with cocaine on the weighing pan and a number of unused grip seal bags was seized.

A mobile telephone belonging to Osborne contained evidence that as well as collecting wholesale quantities of cocaine, he was also involved in the lower level dealing of it.

The messages contained on his telephone also showed he was conducting the lower level dealing in partnership with a contact identified as Daniel Lovell.

Osborne entered an early guilty plea in relation to the lower level dealing but a ‘not guilty’ plea to collection of the 3 kilograms of cocaine.  This plea was altered on the first day of trial and a guilty plea was entered.

The fourth member of the OCG, Daniel Lovell, was working with David Osborne in the low level dealing of cocaine and was identified through the examination of a mobile telephone seized from Osborne. Lovell entered an early guilty plea in relation to his involvement in the supply of cocaine.

On Wednesday, February 14, Cameron Williams, 24, was sentenced at Newport Crown Court to 11 years in prison.

On the same day, Craig Williams, 39, was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

On Friday, February 9, David Osborne, 40, was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

Also, on February 9, Daniel Lovell, 34, received an 18-month sentence suspended for two years.

Detective Constable Ian Morgan of Tarian, said:“The cross-border work of Tarian is exactly how we are able to bring perpetrators like these to justice.

“I hope that this sentence sends a strong message to those who think they are above the law, and who see drug dealing as a way to make quick and substantial amounts of money.

“It is only a matter of time until Organised Crime Groups such as these are caught and we will work tirelessly, alongside our local police forces and law enforcement agencies across the UK, to ensure that they are.

“Drugs cause endless misery within our communities and we urge anyone who suspects illegal drug activity in their community to come forward and tell us what they know.”