Bristol

'Breaking Bad' drugs gang jailed

Crystal meths gang, Bristol Image copyright other
Image caption Top row (from left): David Nash, Gary Gooda, George Rogers, Harish Chander, Karl Thomas. Bottom row: (from left) Popinder Kandola, Ryan Kelly, Steven Williams, Wojchech Kolodziejcski

A 78 year-old who plotted to set up a crystal meth production line likened to the TV series Breaking Bad has been jailed for 18 years.

George Rogers, of Bath Road, Brislington was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court with eight other men.

The trial heard Rogers, who has cancer, saw potential in the market in the south-west for the drug.

Breaking Bad is about a teacher who makes crystal meth to raise money after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

The court heard Rogers masterminded the plot from behind bars.

Unlike the fictional version, the real-life plot stopped before the gang could flood the region with drugs after undercover police bugged their cars.

Police closed down the operation because of the risk of explosion posed by manufacturing the highly volatile crystal meth.

Rogers was convicted of conspiracy to produce MDMA (ecstasy), methamphetamine, amphetamine and conspiracy to supply cocaine and jailed for 18 years.

Also jailed for their part in the crime were:

  • Harish Chander, 48, of West Bromwich, West Midlands, convicted of conspiracy to produce MDMA and amphetamine and conspiracy to supply cocaine, jailed for 12 years
  • David Nash, 61, of Redcliffe, Bristol, convicted of conspiracy to produce MDMA, methamphetamine and amphetamine, jailed for 11 years
  • Gary Gooda, 46, of Shefford, Bedfordshire, convicted of conspiracy to produce methamphetamine and amphetamine but found not guilty of conspiracy to produce MDMA, jailed for 11 years
  • Steven Williams, 58, of Brislington, Bristol, convicted of conspiracy to produce methamphetamine, jailed for seven years
  • Popinder Kandola, 55, of Walsall, West Midlands, convicted of conspiracy to produce MDMA and amphetamine, jailed for seven years
  • Karl Thomas, 44, of Gloucester, convicted of conspiracy to produce methamphetamine, jailed for eight-and-a-half years
  • Wojchech Kolodziejcski, 27, of West Bromwich, West Midlands, was convicted of conspiracy to produce amphetamine, jailed for four years
  • Ryan Kelly, 30, of Bristol, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine at a previous hearing, jailed for five years

Det Insp Jim Taylor, of Avon and Somerset Police, said Rogers was looking to "set up a drugs empire" which "could have had a significant impact on our communities".

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