Four men, a dedicated phone line, drugs, and posing for photos with the cash and the stash of their criminal enterprise. That’s what it took – along with law enforcement in South Wales conducting an arduous, lengthy investigation – for Liam Wall, age 27, Lee Smith, age 28, Connor Morse, age 21, and Christopher Elgifari, age 25, to enter guilty pleas, admitting they conspired to distribute amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin to drug users in Cardiff, Wales. They were sentenced to imprisonment and jailed yesterday for supplying both class A and B drugs from 2015 to 2016.

Wall was sentenced nine years, seven months; both Smith and Morse were sentenced eight years; and Elgifari was sentenced to serve three years, seven months.

During their sentencing, Judge Jeremy Jenkins of the Cardiff Crown Court , ascribed the term “substantial” to their criminal conspiracy. As well, the judge stated that the men’s actions resulted in “misery and degradation” to Cardiff’s drug users.

Law enforcement’s approach and goals pan out from diligent investigative work

Detective Constable (DC) Rod Lewis, who worked the case, explained that the case was as equally difficult as it was protracted in dealing with a “large drugs gang” across Cardiff. Law enforcement’s goal was to stop the gang from vending drugs by completely disrupting them.

Wall, from St Mellons (Cardiff) and Smith, from Grangetown (Cardiff) were the ringleaders of the gang. Their guilty pleas arose as an effect of the amount of “compelling evidence” law enforcement gathered against them in the course of its investigation, which spanned from September 2015 to December 2016, said DC Lewis.

Overabundant confidence brought down drug dealing gang

That they believed they were “untouchable” was their downfall, he said. They happily posed for photos, complemented with large quantities of drugs or cash. Investigating officer DC Lewis noted it was “great evidence.”

According to Detective Sergeant (DS) Dave Bancroft, the gang left their calling cards at hostels across Cardiff in order to garner more business.

He described dismantling the foursome’s criminal abilities as a “real issue” from the onset. From the very beginning, the concerted effort was on “disrupting every layer,” including Wall, as the gang’s leader.

DS Bancroft also addressed the gang’s misguided confidence, described as astounding. He said the convicted men’s photos evidence included Wall touting roughly £20,000 (about $25,900), as well as his drug-dealing-dedicated business phone that the gang dubbed the “Lewis line.” Smith chose to be portrayed in photos cutting and weighing around 2 kilos of cocaine.

The amount of drugs that police seized tallied nearly £30,000 (close to $38,800), in addition to thousands of dollars in cash. They were running their drug business nearly around-the-clock, which meant they could potentially collect thousands of pounds or dollars every day.

Additional gang members sentenced following law enforcement officials’ persistence

DS Bancroft said that the Organized Crime Team, which was supported by analysts, worked diligently to identify all parties involved in the drug business’ operation and that, previously, several additional members of the gang were sentenced to imprisonment for their respective offenses. He is hopeful that the arrests, convictions, and sentencings provide the public with the reassurance that law enforcement officials are constantly dedicated to their focus and efforts to dismantle crime groups.

Wall, Morse, from Pentwyn, and Elgifari, also from Pentwyn, were intercepted by police November 2016 and taken into custody while they were driving on the M4 (motorway) from Liverpool where they went to purchase more drugs, according to authorities.

Though the trio of criminals denied all knowledge, police said they discovered £11,500 (around $14,900) inside the convicts’ BMW. They asserted that they had gone on a road trip to the mountains.

Jason Redrup, Acting Superintendent, said the investigation the investigation into the “ruthless street gang” was carried out by an excellent investigation team and that the gang was preying on vulnerable people. He also assured that South Wales Police is “committed” to taking down criminals who supply controlled illicit drugs and the enforcement agency will use “all available tactics” to achieve its goal of keeping communities safe.