Major operation ends after drug dealer sentenced

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image copyrightThames Valley Police
image captionMark Rumble was extradited in January from Thailand, where a judge said he had been living "the high life"

A major police operation into drug dealing across the south of England has ended after a prisoner extradited from Thailand was sentenced.

Mark Rumble was jailed for 10 years and eight months after he admitted drug charges at Oxford Crown Court.

Judge Peter Ross said Rumble, formerly of Didcot, was living "the high life" in Thailand prior to his arrest.

The 31-year-old was one of two inmates at HMP Bullingdon who was at the centre of a coronavirus scare in January.

When he was extradited to the UK, he was held in isolation but tested negative for Covid-19.

Oxford Crown Court previously heard Rumble had been the second in command of a 15-strong crime gang and "the immediate first lieutenant" to gang leader Neil Wadley. Wadely was jailed for 17 years in 2016.

The group, which operated in Oxford and Reading, sourced cocaine from an Albanian organised crime gang and conspired to supply up to 7kg (15lbs) of that drug and 50kg (110lbs) of cannabis, the court heard.

Thames Valley Police said gang members had supplied drugs from as far away as Spain.

'Widespread and complex'

Rumble went to Thailand just days before police arrested other members of the gang in 2015.

Police said that during Operation Samba, 18 defendants were brought to court "with a total of 115 years and three months' jail time being handed down".

Det Con Rebecca Cartwright said Rumble's sentencing had brought a close to the operation which was a "widespread and complex investigation" into gangs making a "substantial profit through drug dealing and distribution".

Rumble was sentenced on 12 March and previously admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines, and possession of methoxetamine with intent to supply.

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