A DRUG dealing gang who trafficked cocaine in the Gwent Valleys have been jailed for a combined total of 12 years.

Commanded by Joshua Billingham, 23, from Caerphilly, he and two subordinates were locked up at Cardiff Crown Court.

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His lieutenant Ellis Brace, 24, was responsible for delivering 761g of cocaine with a potential street value of more than £60,000.

Jamie Grady, 20, was at the bottom of the chain and when police raided his home they found he kept notebooks recording his sales.

South Wales Argus:

Joshua Billingham

Billingham, of Standard Street, Trethomas, was jailed for seven years and Brace, of Castle Street, Caerphilly, was sent to prison for three years.

Grady, of East Avenue, Bedwas, was handed a two-year term at a young offender institution.


Two other defendants were given suspended jail terms.

Thomas Tucker, 22, of Meadow Way, Caerphilly, was sent to prison for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

South Wales Argus:

Ellis Brace

Adam Bird, 25, of Goodrich Street, Caerphilly, was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, and was made the subject of a three-month curfew between 6pm and 7am.

Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, said: “Billingham was at the top of the tree. He was the leading light.

“He played the leading role and he supplied the others. He was an upstream dealer supplying local dealers.

“The defendant’s iPhone revealed a drug dealer’s list and Facebook chat messages chasing others for payment."

South Wales Argus:

Jamie Grady

Mr Cobbe added how a drugs expert from Gwent Police, Detective Constable Sean Meyrick, said Billingham “was using runners”.

The court heard Tucker played a “leading role and was a dealer’s dealer”.

Billingham and Brace pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine.

Tucker and Bird admitted conspiracy to supply the class A drug.

Grady pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine.

The offences took place last year.

Billingham had a previous conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to supply from 2016.

Vaughan Britton, for Billingham, said his client was a new father who had stopped using cocaine since his arrest.

Ed Mitchard, representing Tucker, who has no previous convictions, told the court the defendant worked for a large construction company and was about to study for a degree paid for by his firm.

He said his client had run up a £10,000 gambling debt and “foolishly” chose to drugs deal over the course of just one weekend.

Hilary Roberts, mitigating for Bird, asked the court to take into consideration his client’s early guilty plea and lack of relevant previous convictions.

He added the defendant suffered from “significant” health problems.

David Leathley, representing Brace, said: “The defendant was a runner for those higher up the drugs chain.

“He is a very naive young man. He had run up a drug debt and he was exploited.”

Andrew Shanahan, for Grady, told the court: “The defendant was only 19 at the time of the offence and has no previous convictions or cautions.”

The sentencing judge, Recorder Patrick Upward QC, told Billingham: “You caused misery to a load of people and you profited from it.”

All defendants are set to face Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings in February.

Outside the court, Gwent Police's Detective Constable Michael Coles said: “This was a two-year investigation into a group of young men who were responsible for supplying cocaine in Caerphilly.

"The group was headed up by Joshua Billingham who was supplying wholesale amounts of cocaine to other dealers. 

“Every pound you put into a dealers’ pocket funds organised crime and we hope the sentences given will deter others from wanting to get involved in this type of crime which ruins the lives of so many people, including users and their families.  

“We are determined to pursue drug suppliers and bring them to justice.

"Please continue to help us target these individuals by calling 101 with any information, or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”