Dealer bragged about key worker who moved drugs for him during lockdown

A drug dealer bragged he had a key worker in his gang who transported illicit packages during lockdown.

Darren Nelson, of Whitfield Road, Walton, bragged about Virgin Media worker, Robert Wood’s freedom to roam, a court heard. On Tuesday, seven of the 14 people in both gangs were jailed at Caernarfon Crown Court for a total of 66 years and 11 months for their crimes in North Wales and Merseyside.

Prosecutor Andrew Jones said cocaine and cannabis were sourced via Liverpool and distributed and adulterated in North Wales between December 2019 and April last year. Gang members would meet in various locations in Holywell, Bagillt and Abergele, DailyPost reports.

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Mr Jones said Wood, 58, worked for Virgin Media at the time and was a key worker during lockdown. He moved cocaine around North Wales, while other consignments were brought by other gang members.

But police breached their EncroChat messages – on which the conspirators used handles including Powerwhale and Excellent Wolf – and officers seized drugs from properties and vehicles.

The court heard the cocaine alone was worth between £379,680 and £6,837,264, if split into small deals. If the cannabis had been sold in small deals, it would have made £350,000, said the prosecutor.

Sophie Louise Roberts
Sophie Louise Roberts

Another defendant, Thomas Davies, was arrested and imprisoned at HMP Berwyn, but carried on controlling the operation with updates from his mother Dawn Davies, 47.

The judge, His Honour Timothy Petts, said that, between December 2019 and April 2021, the two organised crime groups dealt in “huge” amounts of drugs in Liverpool and Merseyside. Drugs can cause “immense harm”, he added.

But the gangs made the “considerable mistake” of relying on encrypted phones to talk and wrongly believed their conversations were secure. The police cracked them and got valuable evidence.

Robert Wood
Robert Wood

All admitted conspiring to supply a controlled drug of Class A – cocaine – and conspiring to supply a controlled drug of Class B – cannabis resin. Nelson and Wood’s sentences included their part in a Liverpool gang’s offences.

More gang members will be sentenced this week. The court heard that applications to claw back some of the money will be made under the Proceeds of Crimes Act at a later date.

The defendants

Darren Nelson, 32, of Whitfield Road, Walton, was jailed for 15 years and nine months.

Robert Wood, 58, of Stamfordham Drive, Garston, was jailed for nine years and 11 months.

Daniel Jerome Crossley, 36, of Frances Avenue, Rhyl, was jailed for 10 years.

Dawn Davies, 47, of Nant Y Coed, Holywell, was sent to prison for nine years and six months.

Matthew Daniel Forrester, 27, of Rhodfa Wenlo, Greenfield, was jailed for three years and two months.

Sophie Louise Roberts, 26, of The Close, Greenfield, was jailed for 10 years and four months.

Thomas Arron Wilson, 32, of Cilgant Yr Hen Ysgol, Greenfield, was imprisoned for eight years and three months.

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