The head of a criminal gang which sold crack cocaine and heroin across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil has been jailed.
Yousef Woolcock, 36, from Pendine Close, Barry, was jailed for 17-and-a-half years at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday, 11 December, 2019.
Kevin Skinner, 37, of Wyndham Street, Barry, described as a runner in the operation, appeared alongside him and was jailed for five-and-a-half-years.
They are the last known members of the Barry-based drugs gang to be jailed – one by one, they have been sentenced over the past 12 months following a protracted police investigation.
Operation Blue Pearl was launched after police received information that drugs were being transported from Barry to the south wales valleys, via Bridgend and Gilfach Goch.
A pre-planned vehicle stop in August, 2018, gave officers their significant breakthrough when during the arrest of Saed Saeed and Fouad Cilmi, as they travelled through Beddau with heroin and crack cocaine, officers seized a mobile phone which was being used by the gang to orchestrate drug deals. Saeed and Cilmi were both jailed in December, 2018,
The drugs operation slowly unravelled as police managed to piece together the gang’s activities using digital forensic techniques including phone data and CCTV.
In January, 2019, Dean Jenkins was arrested at his home in Tonyrefail and a search of his home led to the seizure of £30,000 worth of cocaine, His house was being used as stash house where cocaine was being ‘washed’ and turned it into the highly addictive crack cocaine. Jenkins was jailed in April, 2019, for four-and-a-half-years.
Leigh Welch and Damien Robson were both caught dealing heroin in Rhydyfelin in February, 2019. Leigh Welch, of Elmwood Court, Roath, Cardiff, was jailed for five years and seven months in June, 2019, and Damien Robson was recently jailed for three- and-a-half-years (November 27, 2019).
Yousef Woolcock was arrested five months later, in July, 2019, after extensive CCTV inquiries captured him, topping up a known drugs phone in a Barry shop. Thousands of pounds worth of heroin was seized when police raided his home in Fordd Penrhyn. Kevin Skinner was also arrested the same day.
During the whole operation which lasted for 12 months, £64,000 worth of class A drugs, over £12,000 in cash, and weapons including knives, tasers, and hammers were seized by officers
Detective Sergeant Tim Jones, said: “Today we jailed the remaining two members of the Barry Line drugs gang which we had been monitoring since August 2018.
“Yousef Woolcock headed-up a significant drugs supply operation and sold many thousands of pounds worth of class A drugs – a minimum of 18 kilogrammes of heroin.
“Everybody can be sure of the damage that his drugs have caused members of the community, their families and loved ones. The weapons seized during this whole operation is also clear evidence that his activities come hand in hand with violence.
He added: “In dismantling this operation we have taken many thousands of pounds worth of drugs off the streets, but other dealers will be waiting to move in. Only with the communities help and support can we tackle drug dealing and prevent the violence that comes with it.”
Anybody who suspects drug dealing can contact South Wales Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.