A MAN who played a leading role in a drug-dealing gang which trafficked cocaine in the Gwent Valleys has been given a four-year prison sentence, and will serve half of that period behind bars.

Twenty-three-year-old Leon Sullivan, of Claude Road in Caerphilly, played a significant role in organising the sale of cocaine between October 2018 and May 2019.

While his involvement in the drugs gang was under investigation, Sullivan was then arrested after being caught dealing cocaine and ecstasy at Cardiff Students’ Union nightclub in November 2019.

Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, told the court how Sullivan reported to leader of the drugs operation Joshua Billingham, 23, of Standard Street, Trethomas – who was jailed alongside other members of the gang in December last year.


Mr Cobbe said while Sullivan was Billingham’s subordinate, he played a “significant role in proactively dealing drugs and chasing up drug debts”.

He said texts were found on Sullivan’s phone which said he would be hiring a “drug debt enforcement officer” to get illegal money he was owed.

Sullivan was then caught attempting to deal cocaine and MDMA at Cardiff Students’ Union nightclub at 2am on November 23, 2019.

Mr Cobbe told the court that after a staff member became suspicious of Sullivan and called the police, Sullivan attempted to swallow the bags of powder.

On the night Sullivan was in possession of £300 worth of cocaine and more than £400 worth of MDMA – as well as £575 in cash.

He was arrested for conspiracy to supply cocaine and ecstasy, and later pleaded guilty.

Ed Mitchard, representing Sullivan, said at the time of the offences the defendant was struggling mentally after his partner had suffered a miscarriage, and he “turned to a party lifestyle”.

He said: “He understands the seriousness of his actions, and he entered a guilty plea for the offences at the earliest opportunity.

“Since his offence at the students’ union he has not been in trouble.”

The judge, Recorder IWL Jones sentenced Sullivan to four years in prison, and said he had powerful points of mitigation and “hugely sympathised” with his grief over losing a baby. He said Sullivan will serve half of his four-year sentence in custody and the rest on licence.