Six men have been jailed for a total of 34 years and 3 months for drug and modern slavery offences.
Operation Bridport was the investigation surrounding an organised crime group from Newport who were exploiting teenagers in Neath to sell their drugs on their behalf.
The following people have been sentenced for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and for exploiting vulnerable teenagers under section two of the Modern Slavery Act.
• Dwayde Stock, aged 28, from Newport – nine years for drugs and modern slavery offences.
• David Rustham Allen, aged 30 from Newport – eight years and three months for drugs and modern slavery offences.
• Justin James Hensall, aged 36, from Newport – six years and eight months for drug supply and modern slavery offences.
• Joshua Nathan Jeffries, aged 32, from Newport – three years and eight months for drug supply.
• Ottis Jeffries, aged 28, from Newport – three years and four months for drug supply.
• Bernard Christopher Hurley, aged 37, from Newport – three years and four months for drug supply.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Oseng-Rees said: “We are committed to tackling County Lines to keep our communities safe and to jail those who take advantage of others for the purpose of drug dealing.
“Exploiting vulnerable children in this way is unacceptable and the use of modern slavery legislation is an important strand in the targeting of criminal networks who manipulate vulnerable children and adults to maximise their profits from drug supply. Today’s sentencing sends a clear message that we will continue to quash county line activity.”
This is the first case of its kind in South Wales Police where a county line has been prosecuted for modern slavery offences alongside drug trafficking charge utilising evidence led investigation without the need for any victims to provide evidence supporting the prosecution.
Detective Inspector Marc Gardner added: “I want to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment in pursuing this investigation. Without the support of our Organised Crime Team in Neath, Tarian, HM Prison Service and The Crown Prosecution Service this investigation would have been much more difficult.
“Exploitation and slavery have no place in our South Wales communities, and we will do all we can to arrest those involved.
“If you have concerns about drug dealing where you live, please report it to us. All this information is logged, and we will always look to act on it.”