A man who was part of a multi-million pound drug dealing group has been jailed for conspiracy to supply heroin into Eastbourne and Brighton.
Louis Makai, 46, of Langridge Drive, Portslade, faced a retrial after a jury was unable to reach a verdict on him in March this year.
Last week he was found guilty at Brighton Crown Court and he was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment yesterday (December 19).
Makai was part of a drug dealing group sentenced to a total of 67 years for their involvement in a £12.5million conspiracy to supply heroin from Liverpool to Brighton and Eastbourne.
Eastbourne men Paul Shannon, 60, of North Street, and Arthur Jones, 55, of Downs Avenue, were also jailed in May this year for their involvement.
Read more at: https://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/news/eastbourne-pair-admit-to-being-involved-in-huge-2-5-million-drug-conspiracy-1-7860924
In March 2015 search warrants were carried out under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, at nine addresses in Brighton, one in Eastbourne and one in Liverpool.
During the searches, which involved more than 100 police officers and staff, three safes were also found.
Following the raids, 13 people were charged.
During the investigation, the mastermind behind the operation 49-year-old Thomas Wynn from Liverpool and who had lived in Eastbourne, failed to answer police bail. His body was later found in Dubai.
During the earlier trial this year, the court heard that over the period of the indictment couriers working for the gang made more than 50 trips between Liverpool and Sussex, bringing multiple kilos of drugs south for onward supply.
The court heard how detectives from the Community Investigation Team in Brighton led a series of drugs raids in March 2015 resulting in 19 arrests and the seizure of £50,000 cash. Search warrants were carried out at nine addresses in Brighton, one in Eastbourne and one in Liverpool.
During these searches, which involved more than 100 police officers and staff, six kilos of heroin mixed with cutting agent were found and seized, with an estimated street value of £600,000.
Commending the officers involved in the case Judge Anthony Niblett said, “This was a highly complex and professional police operation. As a result due to the dedication and professionalism of the team of officers involved, a significant supply of heroin into the city of Brighton and Hove has been terminated.”
Detective Sergeant Julian Deans said, “This has been a long and difficult investigation. In May of 2014 we began the investigation and this took many months to understand the make up and complexity of the organised crime group. What became apparent was that kilos of heroin of high purity were transported into Sussex from Liverpool. Those drugs would be then broken down and adulterated from the high purity to around 30 per cent. This was then supplied to other dealers in and around Brighton and Hove who had their own individual supply networks.
“When we realised the scale of the investigation we focused on the ring leaders and this culminated in the arrests in March 2015. The jury were presented with over 130,000 pages of evidence and to try and simplify this into lay terms and get the evidence out was no small task.
“We will always target anyone who is supplying harmful drugs in Brighton and Hove, even if it takes months to gather the evidence as in this case and we will work with other forces where necessary to disrupt supply lines from outside of Sussex.”