A drug gang ringleader has been jailed for running a criminal network that supplied huge amounts of cocaine across the West Country.
Aaron Jefferies, 31, of Allington Drive, Barrs Court in Bristol, was caught by police thanks to a surveillance operation by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU).
Officers saw him meet up with fellow gang member, Robbie Shore, in his Range Rover in Melksham, before a warrant of an address in the town led to the discovery of £4,000 worth of cocaine.
Three months later, Jefferies was arrested at his home in November 2019.
In his Jaguar, police found at least 38 separate 1kg blocks of cocaine, which would have a wholesale value of £1.1million.
Also in the car was a plastic bag containing 188g of cocaine, worth £14,000 wholesale, a green rucksack with a further 9.5g of cocaine inside.
There was also eight sandwich bags each containing 1oz of cannabis, an imitation firearm, a truncheon, a small lock knife, and a sports bag with three sets of scales and three knives.
At Bristol Crown Court yesterday (November 24), Jefferies was jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine and produce cannabis, after a cannabis grow was found at a flat in Stokes Croft.
Aaron Rafique, 30, of Milner Gardens, Bristol was known by police as a middle man.
He was jailed for five years and five months after also being found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine and produce cannabis.
Shore, 25, of Williams Close, Melksham, and Connor Forrester, 25, of Meadow Road, Melksham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and received a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence and a two year suspended sentence respectively.
Detective Inspector Charlotte Tucker from the SW ROCU said: “This group was organising the supply of cocaine on a commercial scale in Wiltshire and beyond.
“Aaron Jefferies was top of their group, but we all know the harm going on further down the chain.
“It’s purely about money for them, but for others it’s exploitation, fear, violence and crime-funded drug use.
“The impact of organised crime is felt by everyone.”
She added that police and the Crown Prosecution Service would now work to strip the gang’s ‘luxury assets’ which had been funded through crime.