THE officer who led the investigation that netted a major drugs gang has issued a stark warning to potential dealers.
Six members of the gang are today behind bars after detectives seized £11m of drugs in the biggest haul Hampshire has seen.
Detective Constable Jim Wells, who led Operation Cowling, said: ‘It’s a result of a lot of inter-agency work.
‘We want this to be a constant reminder to anybody that should they consider trying to deal drugs on a commercial scale then they can expect to be stopped.’
He also revealed that Wilfred Travers, who led a conspiracy in Merseyside, would carry cocaine around in cat food boxes.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Matt Browne, added: ‘This case saw us seize an unprecedented amount of drugs for Hampshire Constabulary.
it is hard to believe that this sort of crime was taking place in Hedge End, a usually peaceful part of HampshireDetective Sergeant Matt Browne
‘Travers, Ingall and Przybycin were making exchanges of up to 4kg of pure cocaine at a time in broad daylight in public places for vast sums of cash.
‘They used specially encrypted mobile telephones to communicate with each other to avoid detection by the authorities.
‘It all sounds like something out of a film and it is hard to believe that this sort of crime was taking place in Hedge End, a usually peaceful part of Hampshire.
‘It’s clear to me that some of these defendants started out at a much lower level in the drugs world, but the result of this was them getting into debt with their suppliers and their only means of paying this off was by getting involved in even more serious criminality.’
Portsmouth Crown Court heard that Paul Ingall, of Fareham, would make trips up to Merseyside to meet Wilfred Travers and collect high purity cocaine before cutting it for huge profits with Adam Przybycin and others in Hampshire.
Ingall worked with Przybycin to supply the drugs to dealers including Alireza Jaffer, also of Fareham.
The gang worked on an ‘industrial scale’ supplying, cutting and selling cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamine and cannabis.
Officers seized 42kg of cocaine, MDMA with a street value of around £2m, 2kg of amphetamine and 3kg of cannabis in raids carried out by Hampshire and Lancashire police last year.
Around £200,000 in cash was also seized in the November 3 raids.
Records kept by the gang showed they had nearly 65kg of cocaine in stock between October 7 and November 2 – just one month of the conspiracy that lasted from June to the day of the raids.
Ingall, who was jailed for 13 years, told a probation officer he was unable to do his job as a courier as he was travelling to Merseyside three times a week and London twice a week.
Judge Sarah Munro QC said Ingall and Przybycin were recruited by pensioner Travers, who ran the northern end of the operation.
Around 35kg of cocaine was eventually found in a caravan Travers stored at his friend Eric Bourne’s home.
Judge Munro said Ingall was involved after getting into debt supplying cannabis.
Addressing Ingall, she said: ‘Acting out of greed you accept you agreed to take a significant, if not leading role, in collecting and adulterating huge quantities of cocaine as well as the wholesale supply of amphetamine, cannabis and ecstasy.’
‘You are also the tenant of a number of properties which were relevant to the conspiracy and you were directly involved in a number of vehicles.
‘You were up to your neck in a very lucrative drug supply conspiracy.’
The court heard addresses in Warsash, Fareham and Waterlooville were used to store and prepare drugs.
Storage units in Fareham rented by Ingall contained 1.7kg of skunk cannabis, officers found.
A lock-up garage in Purbrook Gardens, Waterlooville, also rented by Ingall was found to have 1.6kg of amphetamine.
The unit in Crook Lane in Warsash, rented by Przybycin, contained Machu Picchu design packaging for drugs.
Ingall and Przybycin would travel up to Merseyside to meet Travers, who the court heard was close to and probably met the original importers of the cocaine.
The pair called their journeys ‘fishing trips’ and both were seen exchanging an A4-sized package with a man who gave them cash.
Judge Munro told Ingall: ‘Large sums of cash would change hands, with one transaction of over £35,000 in cash being handed over on one occasion for a kilo of import-quality cocaine.
‘The cocaine was then under your control and that of Adam Przybycin.’
The pair used a cutting agent and metal stamps to repackage the cocaine for greater profits.
Surveillance officers saw Przybycin visit Jaffer’s home and saw him emerge minutes later with a brown bag, the court heard.
When officers raided all the homes of the gang they found £11,590 in cash at Jaffer’s home and two wraps of cocaine.
Messages recovered from encrypted phones between Ingall and Jaffer, nicknamed Baba, indicated Jaffer was involved in selling cocaine in 9oz quantities.
Jaffer was on licence from a 42-month jail term for conspiracy to supply cocaine when he committed the offence.
Addressing him, Judge Munro said: ‘The evidence in this case demonstrates that you sourced cocaine in large quantities with the conspirators in which this case is concerned.
‘You are closely linked to Adam Przybycin and it’s clear from the documents seized that you were selling very significant quantities of cocaine.’
She added: ‘Dealer lists suggest you were involved in sales worth thousands of pounds.’
Records kept by the gang showed Jaffer was involved in sales of thousands of pounds.
Officers raiding Matthew Bovingdon’s home in Shamblehurst Lane in Hedge End found 278,824 ecstasy ‘ghost’ and ‘blue heart’ tablets along with 502g of skunk cannabis.
Around 40,000 were kept in the home, with the remaining pills spilt between a red Ford Fiesta and a blue Ford Fiesta kept on the driveway used by Ingall and Przybycin.
Around 11kg of cocaine was also found in one of the cars, with all but one kilo at 18 to 21 per cent purity.
The final kilo was at 86 to 97 per cent purity.
Drugs were cut and packaged at Mereworth Industrial Estate, where 18.6kg of cutting agent was found.
Sentencing the six, Judge Sarah Munro QC said: ‘You are all here today to be sentenced for your varying roles in drug supply, the scale of which is vast and hard to exaggerate.’
Paul Ingall, 35, of New Road, Fareham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and cannabis and was jailed for 13 years.
Alireza Jaffer, 30, of Potters Avenue, Fareham admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and was jailed for six years.
Wilfred Travers, 69, of Dixon Avenue, Newton Le Willows, Merseyside pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was jailed for 12 years.
Eric Bourne, 65, of Fleet Lane, Merseyside found guilty after trial of conspiracy to supply cocaine and was jailed for three years.
Matthew Bovingdon, 32, of Shamblehurst Lane South, Hedge End was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cannabis, and was jailed for 18 months.
Adam Przybycin, 38, formerly of Toynbee Road, Eastleigh, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and cannabis and was jailed for 14 years.
The court heard that pensioner Wilfred Travers used his friend’s driveway to keep a caravan packed with more than £100,000 of cash connected to cocaine.
Travers, 69, wanted to keep under the police radar by using trusted friend Eric Bourne’s driveway.
He knew Bourne would not shop him to the police, the court heard.
The court heard Travers was known to Liverpool drug cartels as a man who would happily be involved in storing, delivering, sorting and packaging huge quantities of cocaine.
When specialist officers raided the address at Fleet Lane, Merseyside, they found £125,800 in shoeboxes in the caravan on Bourne’s driveway.
Further searches of Bourne’s home led to the discovery of £36,500 – around £5,000 of which was Bourne’s cut in the conspiracy.
Addressing Travers, Judge Sarah Munro QC said: ‘His house was a modest council house which you knew would be under the police radar.’
She added: ‘The scene which the police found on November 3 was an extraordinary one.
‘The advantage to you using that caravan reduced the risk of you being linked.’
Travers, 69, of Dixon Avenue, Newton Le Willows, Merseyside, lived just four miles away from Bourne in Fleet Lane.
The pensioner even wrote a character reference for Bourne and sent it to Judge Munro – who dismissed it.
Bourne has no previous convictions and was jailed for three years on the basis he played a lesser role. Travers was jailed for 12 years and has 14 convictions for 28 offences related to supplying drugs.