Yeovil drugs operation boss jailed for more than five years

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THE head of a Yeovil drugs operation who used the names of characters from hit TV series The Wire has been jailed for five years and eight months.

Raphael Castillo, 29, led a well-organised drugs operation in which dealers from London rented properties in Yeovil in order to supply class A drugs.

Castillo admitted charges of being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine between March and September 2016 and possession of criminal property, and was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court today (March 30th).

Following an intelligence-led police operation, a warrant was executed at Castillo’s home in Vestry Road, London, in December 2016, which uncovered the extent of his lavish lifestyle.

Officers seized a large quantity of luxury goods, including a £7,300 Rolex watch, a Fendi backpack worth £2,500 and trainers worth in excess of £1,000. Around £3,000 in cash was also located within a speaker in the boot of his car.

At today’s court hearing the judge also ordered Castillo to pay back £12,775 as part of a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He’s estimated to have benefitted by crime to the sum of £71,430.67.

DC Richard Grierson, who led the investigation, said: “Raphael Castillo was undoubtedly the leader of this county lines drugs operation.

“He fancied himself as a gangster figure and registered a vehicle in the name of Marlo Stanfield and a phone in the name of Avon Barksdale, both fictional drug dealers from US TV series The Wire.

“All the dealers working for this county lines operation were from London and have come to Yeovil to deal large quantities of class A drugs from rented properties.

“It cannot be seen as anything other than a lucrative money-making operation with a clear hierarchy which was headed up by Castillo.

“They were extremely well-organised and while we don’t know the value of drugs they’ve supplied, we believe it will be substantial in terms of quantity and value.

“We want to make Avon and Somerset a hostile area for drug-dealers and we’re working extremely hard to identify and dismantle drugs operations like this one.

“We need people to be our eyes and ears to help eradicate drug-dealing in our local communities. If you have information about people you believe are dealing drugs, please call us on 101 or contact us via our website.

“Or you can give the information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org. They never ask for your name or trace your call.”

Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Chard & Ilminster Reporter | After studying for his NCTJ in Bournemouth, Peter started with the paper in June 2015 on a freelance basis, now permanently based in East Devon covering community and council news.

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