A DRUG dealing couple who ran a “highly successful” cocaine trafficking enterprise in the Gwent Valleys were found with more than £15,000 hidden in their home.

Stephen Knight, 29, and his girlfriend Kara Pope, 30, both of Pantypwdyn Road, Abertillery, were both blasted by a judge.

He said they had been involved in “dealing in death”.

Prosecutor Paul Hewitt told Cardiff Crown Court: “Knight played the significant part and it was primarily his operation, but Pope was involved in a supporting role.”


South Wales Argus:

Kara Pope

Knight was jailed for more than two years but mother-of-one Pope was spared going straight into prison after she was handed a suspended sentence.

South Wales Argus:

The cash seized by Gwent Police

Mr Hewitt said that when Gwent Police raided the couple’s home at the end of August, they found £12,000 in cash under the stairs and a further £3,000 around the house.

Officers also came across more than £2,000 of cocaine.

Both pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis.

Knight also admitted possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.

South Wales Argus:

Cocaine found at the couple's home

The offences were committed between June 2 and August 29.

Ieuan Bebb, representing Pope, said his client had no previous convictions and was responsible for caring for her and Knight’s young child.

He told the court: “Her previous clean character is a significant mitigating factor.”

Jeffrey Jones, for Knight, said his client had no previous convictions for similar offences.

He added that he was a working man who had been a highly regarded employee who was now going to lose his job.

The judge, Recorder Greg Bull QC, told the defendants: “You were dealing in death.

“You were street dealers of drugs in your home town and you both played a part in a profitable business.

“The nature of your success was reflected in the fact that you had more than £15,000 in cash at your home.

“Class A drugs kill and cocaine leads to other drugs.

“Knight, you knew what you were doing and it was highly successful and you dominated your girlfriend.”

The judge jailed Knight for 28 months and Pope was sent to prison for two years, suspended for two years.

She must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

The couple are due to face Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings in the new year.

Outside the court, PC Lewis Iles, the officer in the case, said: “We welcome this sentence which we hope sends a message to those involved in this type of criminality that we will not tolerate the supply of drugs in our communities.

"The Blaenau Gwent neighbourhood enforcement team will continue to take action and bring offenders before the courts.

“I would urge anyone with any information about the supply of drugs to get in contact.

"You can report any concerns to us on 101, via direct message on social media or alternatively, you can report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”