14 appear in court as part of drugs, firearms and money laundering investigation

14 appear in court as part of drugs, firearms and money laundering investigation

A further 14 people have appeared in court in connection with a South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) investigation into the large scale supply of drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition, and money laundering.

They were all arrested as part of Operation Venetic, the UK law enforcement response to the take down of encrypted global communications platform EncroChat.

A further four men appeared at a separate hearing on 31 March charged with offences as part of the same investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the CPS Organised Crime Division.

The latest people charged are:

Corneliu Preda, 34 (dob 17.05.1986), Beresford Close, Saltford, Bristol

Charged with three counts of conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin), two counts of money laundering, and one count of encouraging or assisting in the commission of indictable offences believing one/more will be committed.

Garfield Prehay, 34 (dob 16.02.1987), Burnaby Court, Lancelot Road, Wembley

Charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine and crack cocaine), money laundering, and encouraging or assisting in the commission of indictable offences believing one/more will be committed.

Anthony Perkins, 44 (dob 09.03.1977), Long Valley Road, Twerton, Bath

Charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine and crack cocaine), money laundering, and encouraging or assisting in the commission of indictable offences believing one/more will be committed.

Tekla Selassie, 18 (dob 04.10.2002), Eastfield Avenue, Bath

Charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine and crack cocaine), being concerned in the supply of class B (cannabis), possession of class B (cannabis), conspiracy to transfer criminal property, and two other counts of money laundering.

Pavel Purkin, 32 (dob 05.04.1989), The Paddock, South Bersted, Bognor Regis

Charged with conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine) and money laundering.

Michelle Bray, 34 (dob 15.06.1986), Somerset Terrace, Bedminster, Bristol

Charged with conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine) and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Kate Dent, 40 (dob 15.12.1980), Willinton Road, Knowle West, Bristol

Charged with conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two other counts of money laundering. 

Adil Riaz, 31 (dob 08.11.1989), no fixed abode

Charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine).

Jevaughn Rose, 27 (dob 21.05.1993), St Michaels Avenue, Nottingham

Charged with conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine) and money laundering.

Mehmet Sanci, 34 (dob 01.10.1986), Victoria Road, Swindon

Charged with conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine) and being concerned in a money laundering arrangement.

Tobias Slender, 42 (dob 21.06.1978), Dale Walk, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham

Charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and three counts of money laundering. 

Vitali Shcherbak, 34 (dob 04.12.1986), Langstone Mews, Southall, Middlesex

Charged with being concerned in a money laundering arrangement and possessing criminal property.

Toni Swaby, 26 (dob 26.07.1994), Landseer Road, Twerton, Bath

Charged with money laundering – acting with another to conceal criminal property and acquiring criminal property.

Sheikh Maruf Rouf 34 (dob 28.05.1986), no fixed abode

Charged with being concerned in a money laundering arrangement and possessing criminal property.

Riaz and Rouf have both been remanded in custody.  The other 12 have been released on court bail.

All 14, together with those charged earlier in the month, are due to appear at Bristol Crown Court for a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing on 2 June.

One man, Billy Foster, 33, from Oldland Common, Bristol, failed to appear at court on Tuesday (27 April) and a warrant is now out for his arrest. 

The investigation has led to items including six encrypted phones, a Glock 19 handgun, a carbine conversion kit, a silencer, an extended magazine, ammunition, eight kilos of cocaine, four kilos of crystal MDMA, 3,000 ecstasy tablets, a hydraulic press, and £434,000 cash being seized.