ELEVEN men from Gwent have been jailed for their involvement in a multi-million pound heroin supply network, based in Liverpool and taking in Newport, Cardiff, Gloucester, Plymouth, and Hartlepool.

Gang members used specialist phones with "military-style encryption" to try to cover their tracks, Newport Crown Court was told this week as the men were sentenced.

Ten Newport men and one from Caerphilly are among 20 people caught by the Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit following a nine-month operation, codenamed Operation Jackdaw 2, which involved police officers trawling through 2.3 million lines of phone data and producing more than 49,000 pages of evidence against the defendants.

South Wales Argus:

Two kilograms of heroin seized during Operation Jackdaw 2. Picture - Tarian ROCU


“There is a human cost to the trade of supplying drugs, and we will work tirelessly to stop this," said Detective Inspector Grant Wilson, of Tarian.

"I cannot over-emphasise the dangers of heroin and the harm it can cause to the community as a whole.

"It is good to know these criminals are now behind bars and unable to continue profiting from the misery their trade brings to our neighbourhoods."

During April-December 2018, Tarian officers intercepted the network's communications and followed its couriers on their trips around the country to distribute heroin and deliver cash to Sean Doolan - who ran the network - and his trusted 'lieutenant' Francis Westhead, both of Liverpool.

Doolan's network was involved in the distribution of 150 kilograms of heroin with an estimated street value of £14 million.

Those jailed at Newport Crown Court this week, for conspiracy to supply heroin are:

  • Spencer Killoran, 25, of Somerton Park, Newport - guilty plea, 14 years;
  • Kieran Lewis, 27, of Albany Street, Newport - guilty plea, 10 years and eight months;
  • Salman Ali, 23, of Commercial Road, Newport - guilty plea, nine years and seven months;
  • Ryan Gifford, 37, of Crouch Close, Newport, guilty plea, eight years;
  • Jason Underwood, 42, of Oliphant Circle, Newport - guilty plea, eight years;
  • Benjamin Morgan, 26, of Maugham Close, Newport -guilty plea, six years;
  • Harri Pullen, 21, of Crouch Close, Newport - convicted after a trial, five years and six months;
  • Jan Serafin, 27, of Greene Close, Newport - convicted after a trial, three years and six months;
  • Robert McLean, 27, of Moorland Park, Newport - guilty plea, three years and four months;
  • Ryan Morgan, 22, of no fixed abode - guilty plea, three years and four months;
  • Dominik Serafin, 22, of Greene Close, Newport -guilty plea, two years;
  • Nicholas Evans, of Plymouth - convicted after a trial, 15 years;
  • Sean Doolan, of Liverpool - guilty plea, 14 years;
  • Andre Harrison, of Gloucester - guilty plea, 13 years and seven months;
  • Francis Westhead, of Liverpool - guilty plea, 11 years and four months;
  • Raymond Lee, of Plymouth - guilty plea, 10 years;
  • Mohammed Yousef Ali, of Cardiff - guilty plea, nine years and seven months;
  • Dale Millar, of Gloucester - guilty plea, seven years and two months;
  • Craig Morgan, of Cardiff - guilty plea, six years and eight months;
  • Samuel Lewis, of Newtown - guilty plea, three years and six months.

South Wales Argus:

L-R: (top) Andre Harrison, Benjamin Morgan, Craig Morgan, Dale Millar, Dominik Serafin, (second row) Francis Westhead, Harri Pullen, Jan Serafin, Jason Underwood, Kieran Lewis, (third) Mohammed Youssef Ali, Nicholas Evans, Raymond Lee, Robert McLean, Ryan Gifford, (bottom) Ryan Morgan, Salman Ali, Samuel Lewis, Sean Doolan, Spencer Killoran. Picture - Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit

At Newport Crown Court today, Judge Richard Williams praised the Tarian investigative team.

"This was a large and complex investigation... covering a wide geographical area," he said.

"There were over 40 days of surveillance deployment."

One officer had received life-changing injuries in a road traffic collision during one of the surveillance operations, the court was told.

Judge Williams singled out Tarian officers Detective Inspector Andrew Bartholomew, Detective Sergeant Steve Gardner, Detective Constable Peter Kelly (the officer-in-charge), analyst Gareth Williams, and disclosure officer Detective Constable Kim Thompson-Dark for their work "at the forefront of this mammoth investigation".