South East Wales

Blaenau Gwent pair jailed over £1.2m cocaine seizure

Martyn Pagett (inset left) and Neil Strange (inset right) with the drugs haul
Image caption Martyn Pagett (inset left) and Neil Strange (inset right) with the drugs haul

Two members of a south Wales crime gang have been jailed in connection with a £1.2m cocaine seizure in Blaenau Gwent.

Martyn Pagett, 32, and Neil Strange, 61, both originally of Blaina, were arrested in Bristol, with £125,000 seized at the scene and 8kg (280oz) of cocaine later discovered in Nantyglo.

The pair admitted money laundering and conspiracy to supply cocaine at Cardiff Crown Court.

On Friday, Pagett was jailed for eight years and Strange for eight-and-a-half.

Pagett and Strange - who now lives in Paignton, Devon - were arrested in Bristol on 19 August 2014 by officers from the Wales branch of the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Following the cash seizure, the NCA recovered the high-purity drugs haul from Cwm Crachen travellers' site in Nantyglo, where Pagett worked as site warden.

'Misery and suffering'

The drugs were hidden in a portable building at the site.

Pagett was also supplying drugs to Ashley Burgham, 28, also of Blaina, the head of another crime group based in Blaenau Gwent.

Image caption Pagett and Strange captured in a police surveillance photograph and the cash seized by police (inset)

He and 10 members of his group were jailed in December 2015.

Colin Williams, NCA Wales branch commander, said: "By putting both Pagett and Strange behind bars, we have broken a link in the chain between suppliers and street-level dealers, who cause misery and suffering within the communities of South Wales".

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