Six men have been jailed for a total of 29 years for their role in an organised crime group which supplied cocaine throughout Bristol.
The group was dismantled after officers witnessed a drug deal taking place in the Fishponds area of the city.
Bristol Crown Court heard officers proactively stopped a vehicle used during the exchange and found nearly £39,000 cash hidden inside.
This prompted a number of properties linked to the two occupants of the car, Fatmir Gjeci and Festim Hoxha, to be searched, following which more cash was seized along with a large quantity of cocaine.
In total, more than £53,000 was recovered together with more than 800 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than £65,000.
Five members of the OCG were also found to be in possession of false identity documents. All but one of the men had fake driving licences and ID cards from Greece, Italy, Lithuania or Romania.
Those jailed on Friday (7 December) and their sentences were:
- Tedi Hoxha, 21, of Fishponds Road, Fishponds – five years and six months
- Festim Hoxha, 29, of no fixed address – five years and six months
- Andrea Kopo, 22, of Manor Road, Horfield – five years
- Azir Meta, 24, of Cheltenham Road, Stokes Croft – five years
- Fatmir Gjeci, 21, of no fixed address – four years
- Serjan Hoxhaj, 25, of Eve Road, Easton – four years
Detective Inspector Steve Cartlidge said: “Judging by the quantity of cash and Class A drugs seized from these men, they had clearly been running an illegal drugs operation for some time.
“Most used false documentation which I’ve no doubt enabled them to evade detection as well as launder the profits from their activities more easily.
“It’s vitally important the public support us in tackling such operations and I’d ask anyone who thinks they may have witnessed a drug deal taking place to report their suspicions to us.
“We will robustly investigate any reports regarding the illegal supply of drugs and those involved will be caught, arrested and face justice.”
If you have information about people you believe are dealing drugs, please call 101 or contact us via our website.
Alternatively pass on information through the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.