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Year-Long Drugs Operation Pays Dividends For Police

Friday June 28 2013

Success for police after year-long operation Success for police after year-long operation

OPERATION Muzzle was a year-long police operation which brought drug traffickers to justice.

Led by Barnsley's DCI Mark Wilkie, it relentlessly pursued gangs across Europe, the USA and Mexico via bugged cars and phones and meticulous evidence gathering.

Thirty officers from South Yorkshire worked via the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) to track the traffickers. Some officers travelled to Tucson, Arizona, where they worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agency.

"The trafficking was like a military operation," said DCI Wilkie. "They're very organised and some of these people thought they were untouchable.

"But no matter how clever or organised, we're still able to detect, arrest and convict those involved in this high level of crime."

Dutch police helped in arrests and surveillance in Holland, and the DEA in the United States prised information out of Mexico. The Metropolitan Police and forces in Hertfordshire and Derbyshire were also involved.

One gang, which heavily featured Barnsley businessman Richard Stead, was bringing cocaine from Mexico and Eastern Europe into Heathrow, concealed in machine parts. These were broken down and the cocaine removed at an industrial unit in the town.

Stead was found guilty of conspiracy to supply drugs. His accomplice, Frank Babar, 47, of Surrey, was found guilty of conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the importation of cocaine, while Marco Martin Russo, 41, from London, was acquitted of the same charge. Babar was found guilty of a second charge of conspiracy to conceal the proceeds of crime.

He said the investigation resulting in convictions was a "fantastic" achievement. "It's good to unravel serious and organised crime that was happening in Barnsley unseen by the majority of people."

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Reply Posted by cal on Sunday June 30 2013 at 15:21
cant of done that good of a job coz u can get cocain in ny pub club in Barnsley 7 dayz a week if you want it drug dealers and prostitutes are a fact of life u take one out another take their place also how many police would be sacked if they did random drugs testing ????

Reply Posted by Shawn on Monday July 1 2013 at 10:55
Just try reporting this matter to SYP and get another low life scum off our streets

Reply Posted by Fffs on Sunday June 30 2013 at 16:38
...they do do random drug testing. Idiot.

Reply Posted by Swifty on Monday July 1 2013 at 00:34
Cal it's a good job they do not do random IQ testing.

Reply Posted by ty on Sunday July 21 2013 at 14:01
Suppose its good news for the Queen and her coke snorting MP s,,,Only the C.I.A can shift this amount,,and lets not forget the troups in Afganistan protecting the Poppy fields lol