A HEROIN dealer who sourced drugs from Bolton to run his South Wales crime business has been jailed for 12 years.

Yusuf Ali was caught as a result of Operation Venetic which saw the National Crime Agency and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies across the UK.

The 30-year-old was using EncroChat, an encrypted phone network primarily used by organised crime gangs that was cracked and shut down last year.

Ali, of Adeline Street, Newport, would travel to Bolton, St Helens, Bristol and Stafford to buy heroin from upstream suppliers.

Andrew Jones, prosecuting, said the defendant was involved in the buying and selling of drugs “on a commercial scale”.

At Newport Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Jenkins told the defendant: “You had substantial links with others in the chain of supply and I am satisfied you were involved in directing, organising, and selling large quantities of class A drugs.”

Following the sentencing, DC Gareth Small, the officer in the case, said: “Yusuf Ali may have benefitted financially in the short term by involving himself in the illegal supply of drugs, but he is now paying the consequences of his actions following this 12-year sentence.

“This significant outcome should act as a warning to anyone who has decided to enter in the world of drug dealing and supply.

“Gwent Police will continue to investigate those involved in the supply of controlled drugs which blight our communities and cause substantial misery to vulnerable people often leading to other forms of criminal behaviour.