A HEROIN dealer who was running a drugs empire from his own home has been jailed for 12 years.

Yusuf Ali was caught as a result of Operation Venetic which saw the National Crime Agency and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies across the UK.

The 30-year-old defendant was using EncroChat, an encrypted phone network primarily used by organised crime gangs that was cracked and shut down last year.

Ali, of Adeline Street, Newport, would travel to Bolton, St Helens, Bristol and Stafford to buy heroin from upstream suppliers.

Andrew Jones, prosecuting, said the defendant was involved in the buying and selling of drugs “on a commercial scale”.


Ali pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin.

It was heard in mitigation how Ali was remorseful and had missed the birth of his daughter after being remanded in custody following his arrest.

At Newport Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Jenkins told the defendant: “You had substantial links with others in the chain of supply and I am satisfied you were involved in directing, organising, and selling large quantities of class A drugs.”

Outside the court, Detective Constable Gareth Small, the officer in the case, said: “Yusuf Ali may have benefitted financially in the short term by involving himself in the illegal supply of drugs, but he is now paying the consequences of his actions following this 12-year sentence.

“This significant outcome should act as a warning to anyone who has decided to enter in the world of drug dealing and supply.

“Gwent Police will continue to investigate those involved in the supply of controlled drugs which blight our communities and cause substantial misery to vulnerable people often leading to other forms of criminal behaviour.

“We always welcome to help and support of our communities to assist with the apprehension and detention of these criminals, many of whom believe that they are untouchable.

“Anyone wishing to provide information to Gwent Police can do so anonymously either by calling 101 or Crimestoppers UK on 0800 555 111.

“All information provided will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.”