An international drugs gang kingpin has been jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of smuggling huge amounts of high-purity cocaine and cash between Wales and Ibiza.
Nicholas Strange, who lived on the Spanish holiday island, sourced the drugs through his father Neil and his associate Martyn Pagett from a traveller’s site in South Wales.
Strange was arrested by Spanish police acting on intelligence from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in May last year, before being extradited back to Britain to stand trial.
The NCA discovered Strange’s role in the conspiracy after officers arrested his father and Pagett following the discovery of 8kgs of high-purity cocaine with an estimated street value of over €1 million and large amount of cash.
Neil Strange is currently serving an eight-and-a-half-year sentence for helping his son to smuggle cash back to Ibiza, while Pagett is serving an eight-year term for handling sales of the cocaine to crime groups across the UK.
The gang is said to have supplied drugs to other organised criminals in Wales, including Ashley Burgham, the boss of a Gwent-based group that was sentenced to a combined total of 54 years in 2015.
Burgham and his associates were convicted after police discovered 60kgs of cocaine worth up €5.15 million and at least 36kg of former so-called legal high mephedrone, which was estimated at the time to have been worth around €343,000.
Burgham’s gang had initially sourced their drugs through an Albanian organised crime group, but began buying cocaine imported from Spain when that relationship ended.
Strange’s group also supplied Anthony Moran from Glasgow, who is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence after British Transport Police officers acting on NCA intelligence stopped him on a train to Scotland shortly after a meeting with Pagett.
He was found to be in possession of 1kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of some €137,000.
One of the charges Pagett was jailed for in March last year related to the drugs that were being carried by Moran, who had travelled to Wales from Scotland to pick up the cocaine.
NCA officer John Lewis said: “Nicholas Strange was a crook who stayed in sunny Ibiza and kept his hands clean while his dad did the dirty work.
“Taking out his operation led to the imprisonment of several serious and organised criminals and the disruption of their networks. It also denied the criminal economy a lot of cash.
“We were determined to track Strange down and, thanks to our intelligence capabilities and close ties with the Guardia Civil, he is facing the full weight of justice.”