MEMBERS of a drugs ring that targeted North Wales have had their assets seized.

Operation Zeus, which was North Wales Police’s largest drugs investigation in 20 years, led to the convictions of 27 men and women who received sentences totalling 183 years in prison.

They were all members of two organised criminal gangs who were responsible for importing large quantities of cocaine sourced in Liverpool and Manchester and delivered by couriers and dealers in North Wales.

But the police were on their tail and during 2017 seized Class A drugs and large amounts of cutting agents used by the gang to maximise the profits. The seizures were said to have an estimated value of £2.7 million.

Orders were made against eight of those convicted at Mold Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act, POCA.

Masterminds behind the two crime gangs, Aled Gray from Holyhead, and Colwyn Bay-based Matthew Jones - who received 10 and 12-year sentences respectively - were not among them.

Barry Haigh, part of the Holyhead arm of the racket based at two of Gray’s pubs, the Dublin Packet and the Boston Arms, was said to have the most assets available.

An order was made to take £18,393 which was the figure given for the available assets of Haig, of Tan Yr Efail, Holyhead who is serving a sentence of four years and six months.

Lee Eastham-Jones was said to have £5,200 available and an order was made to take that sum. Eastham-Jones, of Elwy Gardens, Llandudno is serving an eight-year sentence.

An order was made to seize £3,730 off Lee Bamber, of Cholmondeley Road, Salford who is serving a six-year sentence.

Jordan Peeks was ordered to pay £415.14. Peeks, of Mallow Street, Hulme, was the Manchester-based wholesale supplier to the cartel and he is serving out a 10-year sentence.

Thomas Middleton was said to have only £60 assets of which an order was made against him in that sum. Middleton, of Beach Close, Holyhead was sentenced to six-and-a-half years.

Nominal £1 orders were made against Ben Hayward, of Maes Llan, Eglwysbach, who is serving four years; Zach Leuty, of Lake Avenue, Rhyl, serving six years; and Kelly Mercer, of Maes Derw, Llandudno Junction, who is serving an 18-month sentence.

Their assets were all said to be non-existent and Mercer’s “benefit” from the conspiracy was said to have been only £10,164 while the others was at or greater than £2.7m.

All the gang members have three months to pay up or face another six months added to their sentences.

The POCA cases against Andrew Aldred, of Hawarden Road, Colwyn Bay, Christopher Bennett, of Beech Mount, Colwyn Bay and Jay Peeks, also of Mallow Street, Hulme were adjourned until October 18.

Fourteen other members of the crime gang, including Matthew Jones the ringleader of its Llandudno-based arm, are contesting their orders and their cases have been adjourned to December 23 and 24.

Philip Scarisbrick’s hearing, also contested, is on December 20.

No mention was made of when ringleader Aled Jones will face his POCA hearing.