OPERATION LASER: Judge hands out a total of 160 years of prison sentences to some of the biggest drug dealers in Rugby

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THE sentencing of the final three defendants, arrested last year by Warwickshire Police as part of Operation Laser, has brought the total years of sentences handed down by the Crown Court to the defendants to 160 years.

At Warwick Crown Court on Thursday, May 17 Cleon Craig, 35, from Lea Crescent, Rugby, was sentenced to four years in jail. He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to charges of conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.

Also appearing for sentence was 42-year old Conrad Dru Cooper, from Worcester Street, Rugby, who had admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply heroin. He received a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years together with a 12 month supervision order.

And yesterday (Tuesday), Cheryl Powell 41-years, from Brownsover, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and was sentenced to an 18 month conditional discharge.

These defendants were the last of a long line to appear before the Crown Court for sentencing following their arrest as part in Operation Laser, the largest operation of its kind, yet undertaken by Warwickshire Police targeting serious organised crime and the supply of controlled drugs which had resulted in a total of 60 arrests. Nearly all the defendants had pleaded guilty to their charges at earlier court appearances.

Speaking about the 160 years of sentences which had been imposed to those arrested and charged during the policing operation, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Nolan, the Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Laser said: “It is immensely satisfying to know that the courts have supported this operation by giving sentences that will also serve as a deterrent to others.

“This type of criminality impacts on all levels of society and it is our intention to continue to work with communities and our partners to improve the quality of life of the residents of Warwickshire.”

*The full story will appear in tomorrow’s Rugby Advertiser*