Three people have been jailed for nearly 20 years over a £30,000 cocaine venture planned by a convicted drug-dealer already serving time behind bars.
Domenico Masciopinto was serving a 14-year sentence at HMP The Mount when he masterminded the £30,000 cocaine deal, which spanned from Luton to Bedford.
Masciopinto, 38, orchestrated the deal using a mobile phone to frequently contact two associates in the outside world, Daniel Digiacomo, 27, of Farrer Street, Kempston, and Jason West, 35, of Malthouse Green, Luton.
Digiacomo was arrested moments after SOCU officers witnessed the drug deal in a supermarket car park. Officers recovered nearly a kilo of high quality cocaine and £29,435 in cash from both parties involved.
West was identified as the supplier of the cocaine but evaded police capture for four months.
Detectives eventually found him living in a £99-a-night luxury serviced apartment in Milton Keynes. Among the items found in the flat included around £5,000 in £50 notes and a diamond encrusted Rolex.
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.
Masciopinto, Digiacomo and West all pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to supply a Class A drug, namely cocaine. 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, while Digiacomo was sentenced to six years behind bars.
Two others were also sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Thursday for their role in the criminal operation.
Kelly Imlay, 30, of Bunting Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. She met with West in Luton on the day of the offence, 28 September 2017, and was handed a package. She then made her way to the car park in Lurke Street, Bedford.
Once Imlay had parked in Lurke Street, West contacted Digiacomo by phone to coordinate the transaction between him and Imlay. Digiacomo then walked to Imlay’s car from a nearby block of flats.
Having got in the car for only a few moments, Digiacomo got out and was quickly detained and searched by officers.
Their search found Digiacomo carrying 995g of cocaine at 79% purity, more than £1,100 in cash and three mobile phones. Imlay’s car was stopped nearby shortly afterwards and £28,335 of cash was found, along with a handwritten note with Lurke Street’s postcode on.
Phone records show Masciopinto continued to contact West soon after the other suspects had been arrested, with no further use of the phone after 10.24pm on 28 September.
Imlay received a sentence of two years, suspended for two years. She will have to complete 250 hours of community service and wear an electronic tag for 12 months.
Bobbie Keet, 25, of St Peters Road, Bedford, Digiacomo’s partner, was found guilty at trial 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.”