Men charged with drugs, firearms and money laundering offences

Men charged with drugs, firearms and money laundering offences

Four men appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday 31 March) to face charges relating to 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.

The men were all arrested last year as part of Operation Venetic, the UK law enforcement response to the take down of encrypted global communications service EncroChat.

The four men are charged with the following offences:

  1. Romaine Hyman, 29 (dob 21/10/91), NFA

Conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), conspiracy to supply class A (crack cocaine), conspiracy to supply class A (heroin), possession with intent to supply class A (cocaine), possession with intent to supply class A (MDMA), possession with intent to supply class B (ketamine), possession with intent to supply class A (cocaine), producing a class A drug with intent to supply (crack cocaine), possession of a firearm without a certificate, possession of ammunition without a certificate, four charges of possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of a firearm when prohibited, possession of ammunition when prohibited, conspiracy to conceal/disguise/convert and transfer criminal property, and two charges of concealing criminal property.

  • Robert Dent, 40 (dob 06/10/80) Willinton Road, Knowle West, Bristol

Conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), conspiracy to supply class A (heroin), possession of a controlled class A drug (cocaine), possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of a firearm without a certificate, conspiracy to conceal/disguise/convert and transfer criminal property, concealing criminal property, and converting criminal property.

  • Leon Reid, 26 (dob 26/07/94), Longmead Terrace, Bath

Conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), permitting premises to be used in the production of class A (crack cocaine), concealing criminal property, and acquiring criminal property.

  • James Hele, 36 (dob 19/02/85), Somerset Terrace, Bedminster, Bristol

Conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine) and conspiracy to conceal/disguise/convert and transfer criminal property.

Hyman has been remanded in custody. 

Dent, Reid, and Hele were all released on court bail.

All four men are due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 12 May.

A fifth man, Christopher Barbosa, 28, from Dingle View in Sea Mills, failed to appear at yesterday’s hearing, meaning a warrant is now out for his arrest.  He is charged with conspiracy to supply class A (cocaine), conspiracy to supply class A (heroin), and conspiracy to conceal/disguise/convert and transfer criminal property.

A further 18 people have been arrested in connection with the case and are currently released under investigation.

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 have been seized during the investigation.