Cardiff man sent to prison for five years for drugs offences

Following an investigation by officers from Tarian, the regional organised crime unit for southern Wales a 27-year-old man from Canton in Cardiff has been sent to prison for five years.


On May 31 this year officers from Tarian’s regional disruption team attended an address in Canton as part of an intelligence led operation working with partners in the UK Border Force.


Three days earlier a parcel had been intercepted entering the country from the USA containing a kilogram of cannabis, addressed to Shawn Martin at his home address.


When officers entered the property Martin was found surrounded by wholesale amounts of cannabis. He was in the process of decanting it small bags.


The room – his bedroom – was best described as a “cannabis production line”, including numerous empty parcels and items which had been used to conceal cannabis whilst being imported.


A search of his bedroom revealed huge amounts of Cannabis labelled with individual strains, Cannabis vapes, various edible drugs such as Psilocybin laced chocolate, THC gummies and evidence of drug supply such as ‘tick lists’, weighing scales and paraphernalia. There was £2,825 in cash located in the bedroom.

Also located within Martin’s bedroom were three knives, one of which was a black handled serrated knife approximately eight inches long, another was a knuckle duster shaped knife with a folding large blade. The third was a spring-loaded automatic knife.

Whilst officers were continuing to search the house a parcel that had been shipped from the USA was delivered, addressed to the Defendant. This Parcel stated it was from a sender in the US and contained “geography books”. The parcel was opened and found to contain a further kilo of cannabis inside numerous layers of wrapping and vacuum bags.

The total amount of cannabis, including cannabis resin, seized weighed more than 5,600 grammes with an estimated street value of between £48,720 – £53,300.


A review of Martin’s phone showed that he had been dealing drugs since November 2019 until his arrest. He had been using Cryptocurrency to purchase the drugs from overseas and import them into the country.


Such was the weight of evidence that Martin had little option but to plead guilty to the charges brough against him.


On Thursday October 26 Martin appeared at Newport Crown Court where he was convicted of:

Being concerned in supplying a controlled drug of class A to another – two years imprisonment consecutively;
Being concerned in supplying a controlled drug of class B (Cannabis Resin) to another – three years imprisonment concurrently;
Being concerned in supplying a controlled drug of class B (Cannabis flowering head) to another – three years imprisonment concurrently;
Fraudulent evasion of a prohibition (importation of cannabis) 27 months imprisonment concurrently;
Fraudulent evasion of a prohibition (importation of Cannabis Resin) 27 months imprisonment concurrently;
Possessing a controlled drug of class B with intent to supply (cannabis) three years imprisonment concurrently;
Possessing a controlled drug of class B with intent to supply (cannabis resin) – three years imprisonment concurrently;
Possession of a flick/gravity knife in a dwelling – one month imprisonment concurrently;

Investigating officer PC Adam Griffiths said: “Shawn Martin, had been dealing Cannabis since November 2019 and during this time his customer base and the sophistication of his operation increased exponentially. He was importing wholesale amounts of controlled drugs from overseas into the Cardiff area using sophisticated concealments. The extent of his offending was such that even though a parcel had been intercepted three days prior to his arrest, another kilogram of Cannabis turned up whilst officers were at the address searching.


“He was making a vast amount of money from his drug dealing enterprise. His offending behaviour escalated last year when he began offering class A controlled drugs in the way of Psilocybin edibles for sale to his customer base. He used encrypted applications, cryptocurrency and private chats in order to disguise his offending and attempt to protect his identity. Martin even made the brazen attempt to run his own Lottery Scheme with drugs as prizes and offer “bundles” for Christmas as if he was a legitimate business.


“I welcome the sentence given to Martin as this serves as a clear message to those involved in the supply of controlled drugs that we will continue to work with our partners in other forces and UK Border Force to identify and pursue those who attempt to import controlled drugs into the South Wales area, and prosecute those responsible, bringing them before the Courts. We will then start Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings to ensure that those involved do not profit from their criminality.”




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