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#Encrochat Gang leader helped lead £6 million cocaine and cannabis operation from prison

A man who managed to run an arm of a £6m cocaine and cannabis operation from prison and helped arrange a courier to bring drugs into jail.

Thanks to surveillance and cracking into encrypted phone messages, police managed to bring Thomas Davies's organised crime group down, along with a Liverpool-based group.

Yesterday, the same judge jailed six more people to a total of 42 years and eight months. In total, 11 men and two women have been put behind bars for a total of 109 years and seven months

The defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis except for Michael Munnelly, 40, and Peter Beecham, 38, who were both jailed solely for conspiring to supply cocaine, and Charlie McEvilly who was sentenced for the lesser offences of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis.

The court heard on Tuesday, June 15 that Thomas Davies, 26, rang his brother Liam Davies, 22, from jail and arranged for him to get another man to bring in drugs up his backside to HMP Berwyn in Wrexham. The judge His Honour Timothy Petts told dad-of-three Thomas Davies today: "You were involved in the supply of drugs in prison and carried on directing operations while you were in prison."

Jailing him for eleven years and eight months, he said he would be separated from his young family for a long time but that was "his (own) fault". His brother Liam Davies had helped Thomas out of "misguided loyalty", according to Liam's barrister Nicholas Williams.

But the judge told Liam, who was about to be promoted to become an upholsterer in Holywell before his arrest, that he had played a limited but important role. He had also collected £870 for Thomas in the six weeks he was involved in the conspiracy.

Another man had only been involved for a single day - on April 9, 2020 - when co-conspirator Richard Wood was unavailable, Caernarfon Crown Court heard. Peter Beecham, 38, took £19,500 in cash to Liverpool and returned to North Wales with 500g of cocaine.

The judge told him he had been "clearly trusted with a large amount of drugs and money". His barrister Robin Boag said his client had been "foolish" .

The court heard another defendant, Dayle Owens, 40, had been a street dealer. His barrister Simon Mintz said he had been "chasing small drug users for small drug debts" and passing the cash to people "higher up the chain".

Co-accused Charlie McEvilly, 24, was charged with lesser offences but was nevertheless a street dealer. Defence barrister Philip Tully said his client accepts what he did was wrong. McEvilly had also been found with a small knife on the back seat of his car, breaching a suspended prison sentence.

Finally, Michael Munnelly, 40, had collected drug money and kept the operation going when Thomas Davies was in jail. His barrister Suzanne Payne said he had run his own bricklaying business until the lockdown and fallen down a "slippery slope". But he now has "enhanced" prisoner status in HMP Berwyn.

Liam Davies, 22, of Nant y Coed, Pen y Maes, Holywell, was jailed for six years and nine months for conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis resin.

Peter Beecham, 38, of St Brides Road, Egremont, Merseyside, was jailed for five years and three months for conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis resin.

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