A man from Swindon is among four drug and money couriers who are behind bars after enabling at least £3 million worth of cocaine to be supplied to the south west. 

Eight other members of the organised crime group have already been sentenced to a total of 87 years for their roles in the major conspiracy following the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU) investigation.

This makes the total custodial sentences handed down to the group 124 years. A further three members received suspended sentences.

Swindon Advertiser: Mehmet SanciMehmet Sanci (Image: Wiltshire Police)

Mehmet Sanci, 37, from Swindon, was joined by Pavel Purkin, 34, from Bognor Regis; Corneliu Preda, 37 from Saltford, Bath; and Garfield Prehay, 36 from Wembley for sentencing at Bristol Crown Court on February 8. 

Sanci transported at least 5kg of cocaine and collected £418,000 in drug money from Bath-based Romaine Hyman, who was jailed for 26 years in February 2022, to take to London over two trips.

He also supplied cocaine himself in Swindon. He was sentenced to nine years.

Footage released by SWROCU shows Sanci meeting Hyman in Bath in April 2020 to collect three bags containing £348,540, which was the balance owed for 10 kilos of cocaine delivered by fellow conspirator Purkin earlier the same month.

Over five deliveries, Purkin passed 55kg of cocaine worth nearly £2 million to Hyman and was sentenced to 15 years.

Preda was a regular driver for Hyman, on one occasion driving him to collect £540,000 cash from a stash house in Bath before meeting Purkin and collecting 7 kilos of cocaine. Four kilos were for Hyman, three for Sanci. Preda was sentenced to ten years.

London-based Prehay transported seven-kilo blocks of cocaine from London to Bath on May 29 the day Hyman was arrested after stashing the drugs in a flat.

Purkin was detained while waiting in his car outside, and Prehay was detained less than an hour later on the M4 near Swindon as he headed back to London. Prehay was sentenced to three-and-a-half years.

Swindon Advertiser: Corneliu Preda, Garfield Prehay and Pavel PurkinCorneliu Preda, Garfield Prehay and Pavel Purkin (Image: Wiltshire Police)DCI Adam Smith from the SWROCU said, “These four men were key to enabling the drugs conspiracy to operate, meaning huge amounts of class A drugs supplied on our streets and massive profits for them and the rest of the criminal group.

“This investigation has seen significant sentences totalling more than 120 years handed down, with many key players pleading guilty due to the strength of evidence we gathered against them.

“These were highly organised criminals causing massive harm in our communities, but the tireless work of our investigation team, working closely with colleagues in the CPS, secured their convictions and has ensured they’re brought to justice.”