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Organised Crime Gang sentenced for offences involving drugs and cryptocurrency

|News, Drug offences

Twelve people have been sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court for their roles in conspiring to supply drugs and hiding the proceeds using cryptocurrency.

Drugs seized by the police, along with cutting agents, led expert drug officers to calculate that the group had traded over 40kgs of cocaine, estimating a potential street value of approximately £4.6million.

The police also discovered that Amir Khan, 30, was also supplying ketamine and MDMA (ecstasy).

In an effort to hide the scale of the operation and their illegal profits, Khan and Joshua Billingham, 26, arranged for partners, friends and family to launder the money from the drug dealing, whilst they themselves were in prison, by using the Coinbase cryptocurrency system.

Millie Davies from the CPS said: ”The thorough investigation showed that some of the defendants were involved in industrial scale drug dealing.

“In an attempt to hide the substantial amounts of money from law enforcement, friends and family were recruited to move cryptocurrency from account to account.

“The strong evidence presented by the CPS resulted in guilty pleas, and an organised crime gang being brought to justice.”

The sentence hearing took place on 27 and 28 July 2023 when the following sentences were imposed.

  • Joshua Billingham (DOB: 4/4/1997) - 20 years and 7 months
  • Amir Khan (DOB: 24/3/1993) – 15 years
  • Leon Sullivan (DOB: 15/6/1997) – 11 years and 4 months
  • Darryl Skym (DOB: 6/4/1995) – 10 years
  • Joshua Collins (DOB: 15/10/1996) – 7 years and 8 months
  • Callum Richards (DOB: 28/6/1997) – 9 years and 6 months
  • Matthew Dean (DOB: 10/8/1987) – 4 years and 3 months
  • Ian Kidley (DOB: 13/4/1999) – 2 years
  • Sidra Khan (DOB: 8/7/1995) – 18 months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and attend 15 days of rehabilitation activity
  • Stacey Challenger (DOB: 31/8/1993) – 12 months
  • Sami Rehman (DOB: 1/8/1994) – 18 months
  • Caitlin De Jager (DOB: 21/4/1999) – 4 years and 4 months

Notes to editors

  • Millie Davies is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in CPS Cymru-Wales.
  • Matthew Edward Dean (DOB: 10/8/1987), Ian Kidley (DOB: 13/4/1999), Amir Khan (DOB: 24/3/1993), Joshua Collins (DOB: 15/10/1996), Leon Sullivan (DOB: 15/6/1997), Joshua Billingham (DOB: 4/4/1997), Darryl Skym (DOB: 6/4/1995) and Callum Richards (DOB: 28/6/1997) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of class a drug, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
  • Stacey Challenger (DOB: 31/8/1993) pleaded guilty to entering into or becoming concerned in a money laundering arrangement, contrary to section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Joshua Billingham (DOB: 4/4/1997) pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled drug of Class C with intent, contrary to section 5(3) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
  • Stacey Challenger (DOB: 31/8/1993), Sidra Khan (DOB: 8/7/1995), Sami Rehman (DOB: 1/8/1994), Amir Khan (DOB: 24/3/1993), Joshua Billingham (DOB: 4/4/1997), Joshua Collins (DOB: 15/10/1996) and Catlin De Jager (DOB: 21/4/1999) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
  • Through the thorough investigation carried out by the police, the Crown was able to prove that some of the defendants sentenced today were responsible for the supply of drugs in industrial quantities of cocaine. The 8 defendants that conspired to supply cocaine benefitted from their criminal conduct. In order to hide the vast sums of money they had made, they recruited family and friends to invest in cryptocurrency and to move the currency to/from various accounts in order to make the cash untraceable.

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