FOUR men, including a semi-professional footballer who signed for Prestatyn Town in 2020, have been jailed for their part in a County Lines operation in Wrexham.

Joshua Brizell, 31, Colin Fear, 59, Jackie Roberts, 62 and Stephen Williams, 36, were all sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday (March 17) by Judge Timothy Petts.

They were part of a wider conspiracy to flood Wrexham with cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis by organised crime groups (OCG) in the town and Liverpool, with others jailed at the same court on Thursday, March 16.

Brizell, a full-back, of Faversham Road, Liverpool, signed for Prestatyn Town in November 2020, but did not play a competitive game for the club as football remained suspended in Wales due the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court heard that Brizell was arrested after he used his Network Rail van and Hi-Viz jacket as a cover to courier drugs across five trips from Liverpool to Wrexham from October to November 2021.

Judge Petts was told by the prosecution that Brizell was found with more than £36,000 in cash and in a search of his home in Liverpool, around 2kg of cocaine was found.

Fear, of Preston Road, Chorley, was then recruited to take over from Brizell after his arrest and undertook two trips before he was arrested on January 27, 2022 in possession of cocaine and amphetamines.

Roberts, Fron Goch, Ruabon, Wrexham, was also considered to have played a significant role in the supply, and was present when Fear was arrested, and had travelled from Wrexham to Liverpool on four ‘significant’ occasions.

The court also heard that Williams, of Fenwick Drive, Wrexham, was thought to have a lesser role in the conspiracy, allowing for cocaine and amphetamines to be stored at his Wrexham home.

In mitigation, the court heard that Brizell, who is now coaching football at HMP Berwyn, pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had become involved in the operation after he had accrued a severe gambling debt.


The court also heard that Fear ‘was simply following orders’ when it came to playing courier on two occasions.

It was added that he had become involved to help pay off debts, and was considered disabled.

Roberts had served in the Falkland’s War in 1982, the court was told, and Dafydd Roberts, representing, also disputed the crown’s view that his client had benefitted financially from the enterprise.

He said Roberts was ‘very much acting’ under the direction of Nathan Barnes, who was jailed on Thursday, and that he had no influence over the operation.

Judge Petts heard that Williams had been identified as someone who could be used by the Wrexham OCG to store drugs after he had fallen in with a bad crowd with a drink and drugs addiction.

Judge Petts jailed Brizell to seven years and seven months for three charges of conspiracy to supply Class A and B controlled drugs.

He said: “You were a courier on behalf of the Liverpool gang travelling into meet the Wrexham OCG on five occasions using your work van as cover.

“When you were stopped you had more than £36,000 in cash and cocaine was recovered – you clearly played a significant role.”

Fear was jailed for six years and eight months, reduced from 10 for an early guilty plea, for three charges of conspiring to supply Class A and B controlled drugs.

Roberts received three years and four months for two charges of conspiring to supply Class A and B drugs while Williams was jailed for two years and three months for three charges of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs.

However, he has been on remand since February 2022 and is set to be released.