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Three more Swansea and Neath Port Talbot drug dealers jailed as part of undercover drug sting

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 12, 2012

By Paul Lewis

  • Christopher Glen Barnett

  • Jonathan Mark Rumble

  • Leighon Karl Anthony Weaver

PRISON sentences totalling 60 years have been imposed since police launched an undercover sting against drug dealers earlier this year.

The latest success notched up by Operation Bastion, which targets traffickers in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot, has seen another three pushers sent down after trying to sell drugs to undercover officers.

And 11 more dealers have also appeared in court and are due to be sentenced in January.

But despite the effectiveness of the campaign, police have warned that the rise of drugs such as mephedrone (or meow meow) means they are just as reliant on the public to come forward with information.

Leighton Weaver, 29, of Talbot Road, Port Talbot, was sentenced to three months.

Two 32-year-old Swansea men, Jonathan Rumble, of Hanover Street, and Christopher Barnett, of Mount Pleasant, were sentenced to 31 months and 28 months respectively.

All three were charged with drug trafficking offences after supplying controlled drugs to police officers.

After the hearing at Swansea Crown Court, Operation Bastion's senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Jason Davies, said: "The sentences passed today display the criminal justice system's commitment to reducing drug-related harm in the South Wales area.

"These sentences are further to those already passed over recent weeks and now take the total number of custodial sentences to in excess of 60 years, with more to follow in coming weeks and months."

Operation Bastion, part of the Heroin Ruins Lives campaign, has also led to a group of 11 people from across Swansea and Liverpool appearing in court and admitting conspiring to get heroin onto the streets of Swansea.

Appearing at Swansea Crown Court were Christopher Jordan, 27, of Vincent Street, Sandfields, and Rachel Wilkinson, 27, from Phillips Parade in Brynmill.

Jordan pleaded guilty on a basis of the facts, while Wilkinson admitted the whole prosecution case.

Six people from Merseyside also appeared in the dock — Jamie Byrne, 32, from Ingrow Road, Joe Kerwin, 24, and Shaun Kerwin, 19, both of Cardwell Street, Lee Ackers, 42, of Bisley Street, Kevin Baron McAndrews, 54, of Argyle Street, and 42-year-old Nicholas Cunningham from Derby Lane. Daniel Brooks, 19, of no fixed address, also appeared at court.

All pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and were remanded in custody.

Byrne, McAndrews and Cunningham pleaded guilty on a basis.

Both Joe and Shaun Kerwin admitted the full facts along with Ackers and Brooks.

Carol Byrne, 39, of Studland Road, Liverpool, admitted the drugs charge on a basis of the facts but fully admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice. She was released on bail.

Her son, Kyle Ashton, 20, of Studland Road, Liverpool, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin on a basis and another of perverting the course of justice. He was remanded in custody.

The group will all be sentenced across two days of hearings at Swansea Crown Court from January 31.

A twelfth member of the group, Michelle Royal, 20, of Boode Croft, Liverpool will appear for a hearing on November 30.

Mr Davies said: "The success of Operation Bastion is significant in making Swansea and Neath Port Talbot a safer place.

"But emerging drug trends such as mephedrone provide new challenges that we need the public's continued assistance to address"

Anyone with information should contact the Heroin Ruins Lives hotline on 01792 450631 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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