11:37am Saturday 25th January 2014
A NEWPORT boxer was the organiser of a city- based group which con spired to bring £500,000 worth of cocaine to South Wales, a court heard.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Justyn Hugh, 29, of Iris Road, Roger stone, and five others conspired to bring in five and half kilos of the drug, with a street value in excess of half-a- million pounds, into the Gwent area.
Hugh along with Steven Marchant, 42, of Hendre Farm Drive, Luke Postians, 32, of Ashley Road, Nicholas Davis, 33 and Nathan Williams, 34, of Howard Close, all pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to supply a class A drug on October 18 last year.
A sixth man, Uka Gzimc, 26, pleaded guilty on November 8 last year.
Marchant. Hugh, Davis and Postians all pleaded guilty on basis of plea.
All six appeared in the dock for sentencing by Judge Stephen Hopkins.
Roger Griffiths, prosecuting, said it was the crown's case that Hugh was the leader of the group and would contact people in Albania and the Netherlands.
As a result of that contact, couriers from London, including Gzim, would bring cocaine to Newport and take cash back to London.
The court heard this happened five or six times between November 30, 2012 and July 31,2013.
However, Mr Griffiths added the crown do not believe Hugh had any part in the actual importation of the cocaine to the UK, but that he had a prominent role in its distribution in South Wales.
The court heard a covert listening device in Hugh's BMW car heard conversations between himself and the other men discussing the drugs.
That and the evidence discovered from phone tracing led to the individual arrests of each of the men.
Mr Griffiths said Williams had a "significant role" in the conspiracy, acting as a conduit between Hugh and Davis until Davis' arrest.
He said Davis played a lesser role, becoming involved after the arrest of Marchant, becoming prominent by filling the gap between Hugh and members of the group until his arrest in May 2013.
Ian Dixey, defending Hugh, said his client was not the leader but an organiser who rang telephone lines in the UK which were sometimes diverted to other countries.
He said Hugh's boxing career was effectively over as a result of the case, and that Hugh accepted he had "brought it upon himself".
All six defence barristers asked for their clients guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity to be taken into consideration and said their clients were " remorseful".
Judge Hopkins adjourned sentencing to next Friday.
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