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Gloucestershire Business News

13 jailed for their involvement in Stroud based drugs conspiracy

Months of undercover surveillance helped police to put 13 people behind bars for their involvement in a Stroud based drugs conspiracy.

The group appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Friday (April 23) and received a combined sentence of 52 years following a lengthy investigation.

The investigation saw Serious and Organised Crime Unit officers conduct covert enquiries which allowed them to gather evidence against the offenders and prove their involvement in supplying more than 3KG of class A drugs.

The conspiracy was led by 36-year-old Andrew Venna and 32-year-old Lee Fisher who co-ordinated the gang.

Surveillance showed that the pair met on a number of occasions during the summer of 2018 and also had regular conversations over text and phone calls.

On 16 August 2018 a significant meeting occurred between Lee Fisher and Andrew Venna. Both had driven to McDonalds in Cribbs Causeway to meet and were observed to walk around the car park for half an hour before leaving.

Venna had an additional six months added to his previous sentence after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Cocaine and Fisher was sentenced to six years and nine months after pleading to two counts of conspiracy to supply Cocaine.

36-year-old Matthew Cornwall worked in conjunction with Venna and Fisher to co-ordinate the supply of drugs with Albanian couriers from London and then distributed them to local drug dealers.

Telephony work showed that Cornwall co-ordinated with Venna before liaising with couriers for the local level suppliers.

He had an additional six months added to his previous sentence after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Cocaine.

Father and daughter duo 50-year-old Steven West and 29-year-old Diane Straszewska came next in the conspiracy following their involvement in organising and distributing to Fisher's supply chain.

On 22 June 2018 a warrant and significant arrest was made at their home address of 14 Acacia Drive in Dursley. This was found to be a base used by Lee Fisher to co-ordinate the supply of cocaine.

The majority of this money was heavily contaminated with drugs and mobile phones seized from them evidenced that they were active in the supply of cocaine.

West was sentenced to six years and nine after pleading to two counts of conspiracy to supply Cocaine and Straszewska received the same sentence after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Cocaine.

Tracey and Andrew Holdsworth, who are mother and son and aged 56 and 36, were significant to the organisation and distribution of Lee Fisher's supply chain as they worked in a management function for supplying to dealers.

The pair also lived at the Acacia Drive property and acted as the 'custodians' of money made from supplying and supported Fisher in obtaining more drugs to sell.

Andrew was sentenced to five years and nine months and Tracey was sentenced to four years after both being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Cocaine.

35-year-old Danny Fisher, brother of Lee Fisher, played a significant role in distributing to dealers.

On regular occasions he acted on instructions from his brother before liaising with Steven West and Diane Straszewska in overseeing the money the group were owed from drug users.

On 2 July 2018 surveillance officers, who were hiding in a tree to go unseen, captured a meeting between Danny, Steven West and Diane Straszewska

He was arrested having left the property with a bag containing money, drugs and drug debt lists. He also communicated to his brother who provided instructions from drug rehab in Luton.

At least two previously used 1Kg wrappings were found by the side of the shed at the address. Several drug lists were recovered from the address showing others involved in drug supply.

He was sentenced to five years after pleading to conspiracy to supply Cocaine.

29-year-old Rhys Pulley and 48-year-old Yasmin Anya-Maria Lean worked with Steven West and Lee Fisher to obtain quantities of drugs that were distributed to users across the county.

Lean had strong links with Lee Fisher, the Holdsworths', Steven West and Diane Straszewska. Recovered messages showed that she had a large customer base and offered assistance to others.

Lean was sentenced to 5 years whilst Pulley was sentenced to six years after both pleading to conspiracy to supply Cocaine and possession with intent to supply Cocaine.

Jamie Griffey aged 28, Zak Hearle, aged 23 and Steven Pace aged 29 also worked alongside Lean in dealing to Lee Fisher's supply chain in the Stroud and Dursley areas.

Between 18 July and 26 October 2018, six key events took place and were organized between Rhys Pulley with Matthew Cornwall and involved Matthew Cornwall meeting Steven Pace and Zak Hearle.

Griffey was sentenced to four years, Hearle was sentenced to three years and Pace was sentenced to 21 months suspended for two years after pleading to conspiracy to supply Cocaine.

Chief Inspector Ian Fletcher said: "I hope that this sentencing will yet again show those involved in drug dealing that you are not untouchable or above the law as we will find and convict you.

"Operation Glamorgan is linked to Operation Solero which saw 11 men jailed for a combined total of 69 years back in 2019 and sought to develop intelligence around Serious and Organised Crimes Groups operating in Gloucestershire.

"We are extremely pleased with the court result, but our work will not stop there, our commitment to our communities means that we will do our very best to bring the most serious offenders to justice."

Operation Glamorgan sought to develop intelligence around Serious and Organised Crimes Groups operating in Gloucestershire by disrupting their activity and obtaining successful prosecutions.

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