Pair jailed for selling heroin in police sting
TWO more men have appeared in court after being caught during an undercover police operation.
Mark Hanford and Gareth Russell were both jailed for more than five years after they were arrested as part of South Wales Police's Operation Bastion.
The undercover scheme saw more than 40 arrests across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.
Both Hanford and Russell admitted being involved in a conspiracy to supply heroin.
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Russell also admitted committing one burglary and attempting another.
Undercover officer "John" began doing £40 heroin deals with them both in March.
The pair, who are both neighbours in Cwm Clyd, Waunarlwydd, were involved in seven deals with undercover officers.
Russell was acting as a "runner" for Hurford, prosecuting barrister Patrick Griffiths told Swansea Crown Court.
On six occasions Russell met "John" at locations across Swansea, including at Fforestfach industrial estate and in Waunarlwydd.
On one occasion, on April 17, Hurford met John directly and handed over the drugs outside Mayhill post office.
Evidence was also found on a mobile phone, which Hurford was using, the court was told.
The pair's homes were searched on July 10 and Hurford was arrested. Russell, who was also in custody, was arrested in prison.
Russell also admitted burgling a home at Baptist Well Place, Swansea, on July 5, and attempting to burgle another later that morning in Wheatfield Terrace, Swansea.
He broke into the two houses between 9.30am and 10.25am.
In the first, he took a gold watch from a bedroom drawer. The second burglary was foiled by the elderly owner's grandson, who was visiting.
Russell had opened the door and made his way into the house but was disturbed before making off on a bicycle.
Hurford, 51, has previous convictions for supplying Class A drugs and was previously arrested as part of another undercover police operation.
Russell, 32, has previous convictions but only one related to drugs.
These latest burglary offences are his fourth convictions for burglary.
Stephen Rees, representing Russell, said: "It's plain all these offences were linked to his addiction and needed to finance his habit."
Judge Keith Thomas said: "Offences involving supplying Class A drugs and heroin are of particular concern to the court. They cause people to commit other offences, as in Russell's case to burgle houses, in order to obtain money to feed their addiction. They also cause substantial problems to the community in terms of antisocial behaviour," he said.
He imposed a 68-month term on Hurford and a three-year term for Russell for the drugs charge.
He was also given a concurrent term of 30 months for the burglary offences.