Three people who organised a drug deal from prison have been sentenced to 18 years after their plans were disrupted by Bedfordshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).
Domenico Masciopinto, 38, was already serving a 14-year sentence at HMP The Mount and masterminded the £30,000 cocaine deal, which covered an area from Luton to Bedford.
He used a mobile phone to contact two people in the outside world, Daniel Digiacomo, 27, of Farrer Street, Kempston, and Jason West, 35, of Malthouse Green, Luton who then carried out his orders.
SOCU officers arrested Digiacomo after witnessing the drug deal in a supermarket car park and recovered nearly a kilo of high quality cocaine and £29,435 in cash.
West was identified as the supplier of the cocaine and a man-hunt for him took place for four months with him eventually being found in a £99-a-night luxury serviced apartment in Milton Keynes.
Police seized around £5,000 in £50 notes and a diamond encrusted Rolex from the apartment.
Digiacomo was a co-defendant in the investigation for which Masciopinto was sentenced to 14 years for dealing cocaine and heroin in Bedfordshire in 2012. Digiacomo had since been released on licence.
After this operation all three pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to supply a Class A drug.
- Masciopinto received a seven-year prison sentence, which will be added onto his existing sentence.
- West received a sentence of six years and eight months
- Digiacomo was sentenced to six years behind bars.
Two others were also sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Thursday (6 December) for their role in the deal. Kelly Imlay, 30, of Bunting Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to supply Class A drugs after meeting with West and receiving a package which she took to the Lurke Street car park in Bedford, where she met Digiacomo.
After a very brief meeting in her car, Digiacomo got out and was searched by officers who found 995g of cocaine at 79% purity, more than £1,100 in cash and three mobile phones.
Imlay’s car was also stopped nearby and officers found instructions on how to get to the meeting point and £28,335 of cash. She received a sentence of two years, suspended for two years, but will have to complete 250 hours of community service and wear an electronic tag for 12 months.
Digiacomo’s partner, Bobbie Keet, 25, of St Peters Road, Bedford, was found guilty of possessing criminal property and money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Keet was found by officers loading her car with expensive items from her and Digiacomo’s flat a few hours after the initial arrests. She sought to remove nearly £2,500 in cash, a number of fake Rolexes and three pairs of Louis Vuitton shoes.
She received a 12-month community order and will undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.
Detective Inspector Justin Dipper, from the force’s SOCU, said: “The success of this investigation was the result of weeks of detailed investigative work. The fact we were able to recover such a significant quantity of drugs and cash is testament to the team’s hard work and ability.
“The way two different criminal networks came together in pursuit of this criminal enterprise shows how drug trafficking impacts the whole of Bedfordshire. The fact Masciopinto helped arrange the deal from behind bars shows a shocking lack of remorse for his previous crime.
“The amount of cash and luxury items we have seized as part of this investigation shows the scale of this criminal operation. Drug dealing was funding these lavish lifestyles and it is right the courts have imposed such harsh sentences on those involved.”
SOCU and their colleagues at the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) secured convictions resulting in 150 years in prison last month as they continue to crackdown on organised criminals who supply Class A drugs.