THREE members of an organised gang, charged after one of the largest drugs seizures in Dorset Police history, have been sentenced to more than 28 years behind bars.

The trio, Jose Ivo Ferreira, Dean Wesley Lovell and Fleur Marie Newman, were responsible for supplying Bournemouth and Poole with huge amounts of cocaine, heroin, ketamine, MDMA and cannabis.

Drugs with a street value in excess of one million pounds were seized, following an operation led by officers from Dorset Police's Serious Organised Crime Investigation Team (SOCIT).

Five blocks of cocaine, each weighing nearly a kilo, and more than £60,000 in cash was recovered by officers.

Ferreira, aged 30, of no-fixed abode, admitted charges of conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs in December 2019.

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Drugs seized during operation. Image from Dorset Police

Meanwhile, Lovell, aged 30, of Cull Close, Poole, and Newman, aged 28, of Ripon Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to class A and B drugs supply offences in August this year.

All three were sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, October 16.

Ferreira was handed 12 years in prison, Lovell received nine-and-a-half years and Newman was sentenced to seven years.

Detective Inspector Jamie Halford, of Dorset Police, said: "During the operation we seized several kilograms of class A and B drugs, as well as thousands of pounds in cash, making it one of the largest ever seizures by Dorset Police.

“The amount of drugs and cash involved demonstrates that these defendants were involved in a major operation to supply illegal drugs in the Poole and Bournemouth areas.

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Image from Dorset Police

“The sentencing judge described Ferreira as a substantial dealer who was close to the importers of illegal drugs, who purchased 10kg of cocaine at a time and used numerous drivers to deliver the drugs.

"It was estimated that he dealt in the region of 70kg of class A and 50kg of class B drugs."

Police say the defendants were observed carrying out suspected drug deals during a major surveillance operation carried out in October and November, last year.

When Ferreira and Lovell were arrested in a vehicle in the Rossmore area of Poole, cash totalling more than £12,000 as well as ketamine and MDNA were found.

Mobile phones seized were found to be linked to numbers used to 'advertise' the availability of drugs in the area.

What followed was a series of warrants and drugs raids at addresses linked to the defendants.

Newman was present at the address where she was living with Ferreira and arrested at the scene.

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Image from Dorset Police

A search of that premises discovered a block of cocaine weighing nearly one kilogram as well as further amounts of class A drugs, six large bags of cannabis, various drug related paraphernalia and more amounts of cash.

Other addresses were also searched and further quantities of drugs were recovered, including four more blocks of cocaine weighing around one kilogram that were found in a car in a garage.

Det Insp Halford said: "This investigation saw officers compiling evidence over a period of several months to ensure we could bring these individuals to justice and disrupt this drug supply network.

"We fully recognise the detrimental impact the supply of drugs and drug related activity has on our local communities and Dorset Police is committed to doing all it can to identify those at the heart of the supply chain in our area and take action against them.

"I would like to thank the investigation team for all their work in investigating this matter and efforts during the court process to help secure these convictions and sentences that will see these drug dealers taken off the streets for a significant period."