Drug gang jailed over police operation seizing over £ 1million of cocaine

Four men were sentenced to prison terms for their role in delivering “huge amounts” of cocaine across the West Country.

Following an investigation by the South West Regional Organized Crime Unit (SW ROCU), the organized gang were sentenced to combined prison terms of over 22 years for supplying cocaine on a “commercial scale” in Wiltshire and the southwest.

Aaron Jefferies, 31, of Allington Drive, Bristol, was the ringleader, police said. He was sentenced on November 24 after a four-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He was sentenced to a total of 11 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine, possession with intent to supply cocaine and conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Jefferies was arrested in November 2019 after officers searched his Jaguar and found packages of at least 38 separate 1kg blocks of cocaine, which police said had a wholesale value of 1.1 million pounds sterling.

Packages seized containing £ 1.1million of cocaine Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Police also found a plastic bag containing 188g of cocaine (worth £ 14,000), a green backpack with 9.5g of cocaine inside, eight sandwich bags each containing 1 ounce of cannabis, in his car.

They also seized a fake firearm, a baton, a small lock knife and a sports bag with three sets of scales and three knives.

Aaron Rafique, 30, of Milner Gardens, Bristol, and Robbie Shore, 25, of Williams Close, Melksham, were also convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

They were also both convicted of conspiracy to produce cannabis after a cannabis crop was discovered in an apartment in Stokes Croft, Bristol.

Connor Forrester, 25, of Meadow Road, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cocaine in August 2020. Following a search of his home in Melksham, police found cocaine worth £ 14,000, four cell phones and scales.

Rafique was sentenced to five years and five months, Shore to six and a half, and Forrester to two years suspended and 300 hours of community service.

SW ROCU Detective Inspector Charlotte Tucker said: “This group was organizing the supply of cocaine on a commercial scale in Wiltshire and beyond.

“Aaron Jefferies was at the top of their group, but we all know the evil that goes down the chain. It’s purely about the money for them, but for others it’s exploitation, fear, violence and drug use financed by crime.

“We will now continue to work with the CPS to ensure that it is not only their freedom that has been taken away from them, but also the luxury goods that their crime has funded,” she added.

Ann Hampshire of the South West Complex Casework Unit, said the men “seek to profit from the misery that illegal drugs bring” to communities in the area.

Aaron Jefferies’ wife Lauren Jefferies, 28, is to be sentenced today (November 26) after being convicted of obstructing the course of justice for attempting to have evidence withdrawn during a police search.

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