A Judge in Mold has handed down sentences to an organised crime group in Wrexham that were supplying ‘spice’ to people in Wrexham, some being part of the ‘visible vulnerable’ in the town centre.
The policing investigation focused around an address on Churton Drive in Wrexham where ‘lots and lots of comings and goings’ were observed, with a key link between the cohort of homeless in town and the supplier of drugs being proved.
Officers targeting those supplying New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), formerly known as ‘legal highs’, in the town also seized cash and drugs at the time of raids and arrests.
– Joshua Partyka, aged 26 from Wrexham, was jailed for six years for a range of drug related offences.
– Danny Jones, aged 20, from Wrexham, was sentenced to two years.
– James Dunn, aged 42 from Wrexham, was handed a two year eight month sentence.
– Lorna Jones, aged 26, from Wrexham, was given a two year suspended sentence.
Issues with substances such as ‘spice’ and ‘mamba’ in the town centre have been well-documented for sometime, however such problems all came to a head in 2017 when a series of images dating from 2015 onwards made national news, that appeared to be the trigger for the investigation that resulted in today’s sentencing.
DI Mark Hughes of North Wales Police gives an overview of the operation of how that starting point ended up at arrests, charges and the sentences, plus further images of the drugs and cash recovered – along with pictures from inside the ‘office’:
As well as ‘street’ supply, details were given at a press conference of how ‘spice’ was also sprayed onto posters of motorbikes which were then sent into HMP Berwyn and other prisons, and those handling the letters became ill due the strength of the spraying. A value of £20-30 per gram was attributed to the prison ‘price’, with it noted a single sheet of A4 sized paper would be worth a sizeable sum.
Police were keen to point out that the operation showed how North Wales Police were both working from an enforcement angle on the issues of NPS, as well as partnership working with the overall aim to help those affected – as part of the much documented local efforts.
Inspector Vic Powell said that there was a ‘noticeable improvement’ locally after the arrests: “It goes to show we can enforce and engage at the same time. We can arrest all day long, but this has to dovetail with our wider work.”
Wrexham is not alone with the affects of synthetic canniboids, with it noted that police and other groups from London, Blackpool, Manchester, Staffordshire and across the UK have been speaking with local efforts to ‘share good practice’ and various learning experiences on how to tackle the problem.
Inspector Vic Powell went on to ask for local help to provide intelligence on local drug supply: “Information can be passed by contacting the control room direct via the web live chat or phoning 101.”