TWO notorious brothers ran a £2.5 million drugs empire, even after being jailed, with their help of their mother. IWAN GABE DAVIES reports

LAST month Jerome Nunes and Blane Nunes were jailed for 12 years and 14 years respectively, with their mother, Angela Collingbourne, awaiting a similar lengthy sentence.

The trio from Newport were running a “criminal enterprise with precision – it could be said that this is a family-run business”.

Those were the words of prosecutor Andrew Jones, to the city’s crown court.

READ MORE: Newport men who dumped more than 100k of cocaine in police chase jailed

The heart of the operation was NP19 Tyres on Cromwell Road where the gang’s leaders directed their crime syndicate.

From here, they used a mobile phone telephone hotline to sell drugs, had a caravan and several rural “stash locations” in the Goldcliffe area of the city to store cocaine and their deliveries were captured in police surveillance recordings.

The two brothers and Collingbourne, aged 51, of Jenkins Street, were all found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to supply a class A drug.

The siblings were well-known to Gwent Police and were already serving significant jail sentences before their trial began.

Jerome Nunes, aged 28, of Livingstone Place, Maindee, was behind bars as a convicted drug dealer and was even “orchestrating” the gang from his prison cell using mobile phones that were smuggled in.

Blane Nunes was serving time for killing a father after crashing into him in a high-performance Volkswagen Golf GTi while his victim was a passenger in another car last year.

Here we profile the brothers and detail the roles they played in flooding the streets of Newport with cocaine between 2016 and 2018 before being smashed by Operation Finch, carried out by Tarian, the regional organised crime unit, supported by Gwent Police and South Wales Police.

Jerome Nunes

During their trial, the jury heard how the Nunes brothers accepted that they were actively involved in cocaine trafficking together but said they were acting under duress.

They claimed they were living in fear of their lives after being threatened by an Albanian drug cartel linked to a convicted drug dealer called David Perry.

Jerome Nunes was jailed for nearly eight years in February 2017 after he was caught throwing £100,000 of cocaine out of a car window the previous August.

READ MORE: Speeding driver who killed ‘prized’ father jailed for nearly five years

He was being driven that day by Perry during a high-speed police chase, which involved the force helicopter, between Cwmbran and Newport before they were arrested at NP19 Tyres.

As he tried to toss one bag away to get rid of the evidence, Jerome Nunes, who pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine, accidentally stabbed himself in the thigh with a knife.

Perry, aged 34 from Cromwell Road, Newport, admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine and dangerous driving and was jailed for eight-and-half years.

But being in jail didn’t put a stop to Jerome Nunes leading the conspiracy.

Mr Jones told the jury: “He controlled the organised crime group throughout his time in custody by an extensive network of illicit mobile phones, orchestrating the trade of cocaine and giving instructions to members of his organisation.

“He directed operations.

“He is seen on CCTV from NP19 Tyres counting thousands of pounds in cash.”

Blane Nunes

Blane Nunes, 26, of Jenkins Street, Newport, was the drugs ring’s “operations manager” who oversaw the daily running of their “lucrative” mobile phone hotline.

This was open for business, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He was also is charge of the storage and preparation of the drugs and would attend at the various stash points and the caravan.

Speaking of when he was questioned by detectives after his arrest, Mr Jones said: “Blane Nunes mainly sat in silence but did tell officers that his presence at the caravan was to chill, smoke weed and see his mate.

“He said the only money he’d seen was £6 which he’d made from washing one car.

“He denied being at the top of the tree.

“He wouldn’t tell officers who was at the top because he said it was their job to find out.”

The prosecution said Blane Nunes’ calls from prison were also recorded and he made no mention of living in fear of David Perry and an Albanian drug syndicate.

They put forward that there was evidence however of Blane Nunes directing people what to do in the conspiracy.

Last September he was jailed for nearly five years for killing a “prized father and loving son” while speeding through the streets of Newport.

Blane Nunes admitted causing the death of Vladimir Cech by dangerous driving while at the wheel of a modified high performance VW Golf GTi on a residential street travelling at 85mph in a 30mph zone.

He crashed into the back of a Skoda Fabia in which his victim was a passenger on Caerleon Road, hitting it into a parked vehicle.

At Newport Crown Court, Judge Daniel Williams said he had been “showing off” to a female passenger who had recorded him driving at high speeds on her mobile phone just 10 minutes before the crash.

Prosecutor Gareth James said the defendant fled the scene but was caught after police linked him from DNA he left on the driver seat airbag.