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Aberystwyth dealer jailed for part in supply of heroin worth £170,000



A SIGNIFICANT Aberystwyth drug dealer has been jailed for his part in the possession and supply of heroin worth £170,000, as well as attempting to escape from police custody.

Michael James Price was charged with possessing heroin with intent to supply following a stop search by Dyfed-Powys Police, which resulted in the force’s largest ever heroin seizure.

Officers recovered approximately 1kg of the class A drug – worth an estimated £125,000 in street value – following a stop search in Aberystwyth on May 14.

Price, aged 48, of South Road in Aberystwyth, was already under investigation for being concerned in the supply of heroin worth £45,000 following a warrant in August 2020.

He was stopped by officers after enquiries were made into a car linked to an organised crime gang, which had travelled to Aberystwyth for short periods of time five times in six weeks.

Officers witnessed Price and a man later found to be John James Rooney carrying out an exchange in the castle grounds at around 9am on May 14, 2021. The car was parked nearby.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones, of the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: “Price was searched by officers, who found a carrier bag containing 35 smaller plastic bags of heroin in his jacket pocket.

“These drugs had the potential to be split into 12,500 individual street deals.

“The recovery of this quantity of heroin is unprecedented in Dyfed-Powys and would have caused an untold amount of devastation to the community.”

Price, was immediately arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

John James Rooney, aged 44, of no fixed address, was later located by the Powys Roads Policing Unit, and was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

He had £2,325 in cash on his person, which he claimed was made up of wages, despite later claiming to be unemployed.

DS Jones said: “A thorough investigation was carried out into the two men, including drugs analysis, digital and financial enquiries, and DNA testing, which proved both Price and Rooney’s fingerprints were present on a number of the bags of heroin.”

Evidence led to Rooney being charged with supplying heroin, acquiring, using or possessing criminal property – namely £2,325 in cash, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

He admitted the offence and was sentenced to four-and-a-half at Swansea Crown Court on Monday, July 12.

For the incident in May, Price was charged with possessing heroin with intent to supply.

He was also charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin in connection with a drug warrant at a home in Aberystwyth in August 2020, where heroin worth £45,000 was located.

Price’s fingerprints were found on a bag containing 28g of heroin, as well as on a vent behind which the drugs were hidden.

He was further charged with attempting to escape lawful custody following an incident which saw him attempt to scale a 10ft high gate in an attempt to flee from custody.

He admitted all offences, and was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison.

Following sentencing, DS Jones said: “We are pleased to see both men put behind bars for their parts in supplying this devastating drug to Aberystwyth.

“Price has been involved in the supply of heroin for a significant period of time, and has two previous convictions for the offence.

“He clearly continues to play a role in supplying class A drugs in Aberystwyth, which no doubt is to maintain his own habit.

“I’m confident he would have continued selling controlled drugs had he not been imprisoned in order to pay back the debt of losing these drugs.”


New Quay RNLI rescue two people in the water



ON FRIDAY (Jul 16), New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard following reports of two people in the water off Ynys Lochtyn, near Llangrannog, having capsized their kayak. 

At 10.40am New Quay’s inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ launched with three volunteer crew members on board and made good speed down the coast in excellent weather conditions. 

Huw Williams, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “When we arrived on scene we found one person had made it back onto the kayak and one still in the water. Both had been in the water for 30 minutes and were struggling in the tidal current so it was important that we got them on board to be assessed.  

“The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was also tasked but was stood down after we confirmed that both casualties were safe and well, with no injuries. 

“Having got the casualties and the kayak onto the lifeboat we transferred them to Llangrannog beach where we handed over to the RNLI lifeguards and the New Quay Coastguard rescue team.” 

It was also a first shout for New Quay RNLI’s newest crew member, Will Best.  

Will is an international yachtsman and, sailing on the yacht Alegre, he has chalked up wins in both the Rolex Middle Sea and Giraglia Races. He was also navigator on board the winning 2011 Sydney to Hobart race boat Loki. As well as sailing competitively, Will specialises in the design and installation of electronic systems on Grand Prix race boats and super yachts. He has also worked with a number of America’s Cup and Volvo race teams.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Will brings a wealth of seafaring knowledge and is a great addition to the crew. Welcome on board Will!” 

Will added, “It has been great to join the New Quay RNLI crew. They are a great team and I’m glad I’ve got my first shout under my belt.”

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Man, 22, charged with murder of John William Bell in Cardigan



A CARDIGAN man has been charged with murder after a man’s death in Ceredigion.

Dyfed-Powys Police said 22-year-old Ashley Keegan, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with his murder.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Ashley Keegan, aged 22, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with the murder of John William Bell.

“Keegan will appear at Swansea magistrates court on Saturday 24th July 2021.

“John’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and the investigation is grateful for the support of the community whilst enquiries were conducted.”

This is the second major incident in the same area this month.

Another man was charged with making threats with a knife, he is again from Golwg y Castell.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they received a number of calls reporting a man brandishing a knife towards another man in Maesyfelin, Cardigan, at around 4.20pm on Wednesday (July 14).

Several police units swiftly made their way to the area, but the suspect had fled.

Dean Thomas, aged 25, was quickly located at his home in Golwg y Castell, where he was arrested on suspicion of affray and taken to custody.

Mobile phone footage was gathered from people at the scene, and statements were taken from witnesses.

Cardigan Inspector Owen Williams said: “Thanks to the swift attendance of officers, there were a number of people present who were able to provide evidence to assist with our enquiries.
“Thomas also made a significant statement linking himself with the incident, and was charged within hours of being arrested.

“I hope the speed with which we carried out enquiries into this incident reassures people living in Maesyfelin, who were naturally very concerned by what had happened.”

Thomas was charged with threatening a person with a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place and appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 15 where he admitted the offence.

He will be sentenced on July 29 at Swansea Crown Court.

In relation to the murder, anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at:, by emailing, or by calling 101 and quoting Op Reedham. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

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Devastated family’s tribute to ‘loving and devoted’ son



THE FAMILY of the 37-year-old man who died in Cardigan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Jul 21) have said he will be “hugely missed by all that loved him”.

John Bell, who lived in the town, was found on the road to Cardigan Bridge at around midnight.

His family has issued this statement: “We are devastated at the loss of John.

“He was a loving and devoted Son, Brother, Father and Uncle and he will be hugely missed by all that loved him. 

“We ask for privacy at this time.”

John’s family is being supported by specially trained officers.

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.

Detective Superintendent Paul Jones said: “Our thoughts go out to John’s family at this very difficult time.

“We are currently focussing our investigation in Golwg Y Castell and the road between there and Cardigan Bridge, where Mr Bell was located.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen or heard an altercation in that area during the evening of Tuesday, 20 July, particularly the latter part of the evening, after 10pm, before police attended at around midnight.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting Quote reference: DP-20210720-458.

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