Six sentenced for £750k Gloucester-based drugs conspiracy

News / March 23

An organised crime group that conspired to sell more than £750,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis on the streets of Gloucester has been sentenced to a total of 46 years and 11 months in prison today (Friday, March 23).

An organised crime group that conspired to sell more than £750,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis on the streets of Gloucester has been sentenced to a total of 46 years and 11 months in prison today (Friday, March 23).

Bristol Crown Court heard how Marlan Douglas, 37, already serving a 13 year prison sentence for drug offences, was running the two conspiracies from his cell in HMP Swaleside.  He was sentenced to 15 years.

Marlan used his former partner Zara Meredith, 31, from Midland Road, Gloucester, brother 27-year-old Lance Prince from Cowden Street, London, and sister Kaylea Grant, 30, from Rita Road, London to run the conspiracy.                                            

Gloucester man Tyrone Powell, 25, from Cheyney Close, Gloucester, and London-based courier Zaccai Roswell, 36, from Kingsbury Road, London, had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply last November. 

Detective Sergeant Nick Eckland from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) said: “This group, under the control of Marlan Douglas, was looking to make hundreds of thousands of pounds while causing huge harm to the people and communities of Gloucester.

“Communication between the group saw Douglas talk of plans to invest his drug money in land or property in Jamaica and his sister, Grant, using her share to fund her wedding.  In one WhatsApp conversation with his sister, Douglas even complains that his former girlfriend Zara Meredith didn’t appreciate the fact she had a man who was ‘trying to earn from a prison cell’.”

Officers will now apply for a Confiscation Order to ensure any money the group has made from this case, or any other crime they have been convicted of in the past six years, is seized.

Following several months of intelligence gathering by the SW ROCU, officers from the unit stopped a taxi carrying Powell in February 2017 as it set off from Grant’s home in London for Gloucester.  It was pulled over on the A40 near Headington, Oxfordshire, where he was arrested.

On searching the taxi, four large blocks of high purity cocaine with a street value of more than £750k and herbal cannabis worth around £6k were seized.  Powell was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs.

Later that night, officers forced entry into Grant’s home, where she was arrested.

Days later, the team searched a lock-up container near Cheltenham and seized a hydraulic press as well as CCTV footage showing Meredith and Powell carrying heavy packages from the container to the taxi.

Meredith was arrested from her home in Gloucester a fortnight later, with Roswell and Prince arrested on separate occasions in London in April.

A seventh man, Gloucester-based taxi driver Ahmad Ottman from High Street, Tredworth, was found not guilty of both counts.

The sentences passed today break down as follows:

Marlan Douglas – 15 years

Kaylea Grant – 9 years

Zara Meredith – 8 years

Lance Prince – 8 years

Tyrone Powell – 6 years and 8 months

Zaccai Roswell – 3 months suspended for a year, plus 180 hours unpaid work

Anyone with information about people they believe to be dealing drugs should report their suspicions to the police online or on the non-emergency number 101. 

Or, to give information anonymously, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their website, www.crimestoppers-uk.org  They never ask for your name and cannot trace your call.