A man from Cardiff who went on the run was finally caught by police after more than three years. In late 2023 police arrested James Dean Connors, 27, who went on the run in March 2020 after being charged with drugs offences.

Connors, from Splott, was the principal member of an organised crime group involved in the supply of Class A drugs. The group was discovered when a mobile phone was found at the scene of a crash involving an off-road bike in St Mellons in June 2018, according to South Wales Police.

The phone, which was handed in to police by a member of the public, contained drug-dealing messages and photographs of a block of white powder believed to be a kilo of cocaine. The cocaine was stamped with the Audi rings symbol and placed on a dinner plate. For the latest court reports sign up to our crime newsletter here.

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Block of white powder on a dinner plate
Police discovered photographs of a block of white powder believed to be a kilo of cocaine.

Due to its apparent high purity it was estimated to have a potential street value of £100,000 if it was sold at £100 a gram. Following inquiries it was established that the photos had been taken inside a flat in Greenway Road and a suspected organised crime group was identified. Want less ads? Download WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android

In December 2018 police conducted 10 search warrants across the city which led to the recovery of approximately £40,000 worth of drugs, several thousand pounds in cash, and multiple weapons including machetes and imitation firearms. Connors pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine, failing to surrender to custody, and conspiracy to supply cocaine.

The latter charge was related to a separate investigation by Tarian, the regional organised crime unit for southern Wales, South Wales Police said. Connors was jailed for 12 years at Cardiff Crown Court.