THREE men have been jailed for a total of 15 years for their involvement in a cocaine dealing operation which saw police seize £52,000 in cash.

Cocaine, heroin, MDMA (known in tablet form as Ecstasy) and ketamine – with a combined street value of at least £36,000 – was also seized by police following a surveillance operation against the trio in March.

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William Davies, James Hallett and Zac Marchetti-Rees were sentenced at Newport Crown Court on Friday after admitting being concerned in the supply of the class-A drug cocaine.

Judge Daniel Williams said the defendants' operation was an "unsophisticated" but nevertheless "lucrative and profitable business" involving "substantial quantities of cocaine".

The court was told cocaine was being dealt in nine-ounce and 18-ounce quantities, costing £10,000 and £20,000 respectively.


Ruth Smith, prosecuting, said a police investigation into the three men began on March 17. Officers used phone data to track contacts between Davies and a "wholesale supplier" of class-A drugs.

Davies sent "his boy," childhood friend Marchetti-Rees on multiple trips to collect drugs, Ms Smith said.

Police traced the courier's journeys using the network of automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Phone contact between the group also included Snapchat images showing a calculator displaying large sums of money.

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Police swooped in on March 31 when Davies himself visited Hallett's home in Rhymney.

There, officers found Hallett in the kitchen holding banknotes, Ms Smith said. More cash was bundled on the worktop, and a money-counting machine was in use.

The police found 492 grams of 77 per cent purity cocaine in a Tesco carrier bag, and on the sofa they found 25g of heroin.

Outside, in Davies' car, police found MDMA, 760 Ecstasy tablets, 31g of ketamine, 250g of cocaine, and £1,200 in cash.

One officer described the car as "looking like a mobile chemist's lab," Ms Smith told the court.

Both men were arrested, as was Marchetti-Rees a few days later.

The court heard police also found a Snapchat group on Davies' phone, named after Snow White, in which the dealer complained of rising costs.

"The prices I'm paying are stupid," he told his contacts. "I've never seen them so high."

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Sue Ferrier, defending Davies, said his actions "showed no sophistication" and that leaving a paper trail "shows how naive he has been".

Davies has a young child and was "from a good family," she said, adding that he had "left himself vulnerable to exploitation" through his own drug use.

He was "doing everything he can to better himself" and was working as a chef in prison, she added.

Harry Baker, defending Hallett, said the defendant had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had no previous convictions for drug supply.

Nigel Fryer, defending Marchetti-Rees, said the defendant was "out of his depth" and his actions had had "a devastating wider effect on the family".

Sentencing, the judge said Davies and Hallett had played "significant" roles in the operation, with Davies closer to the source of the cocaine; and Marchetti-Rees had played a lesser role.

Davies, 23, of The Walk, Ystrad Mynach, was jailed for a total of six years for being concerned in the supply of cocaine and for possession with intent to supply ketamine and MDMA.

Hallett, 29, of Ty Coch, Rhymney, was jailed for a total of six years for being concerned in the supply of cocaine and for possession with intent to supply heroin.

Marchetti-Rees, 22, of Pen-Y-Cae, Ystrad Mynach, was jailed for three years for being concerned in the supply of cocaine.