A British vacationer who vowed by no means to return to Colombia after he infuriated cartel members when he snorted cocaine from the gave of Pablo Escobar has been jailed. 

Steven Semmens, 39, was filmed kneeling by and spilling the white powder on the grave stone of the infamous cartel boss, who was buried in Itagui, ‘for fun’ after consuming together with his buddies in 2018.

Semmens has now been jailed for 13 years and 6 months, alongside his co-conspirators, after he was discovered to be concerned in a world drug smuggling ring trying to convey medication into South Wales over the pandemic. 

Steven Semmens, 39, (pictured) was filmed kneeling by and spilling the white powder on the grave stone of the infamous cartel boss, who was buried in Itagui, ‘for fun’ after consuming together with his buddies in 2018

The video angered gang members who had been part of Escobar's cartel, causing Semmens to shave his head and go into hiding

The video angered gang members who had been a part of Escobar’s cartel, inflicting Semmens to shave his head and go into hiding

In 2018 Semmens mentioned he determined to snort the drug off Escobar’s grave as a part of a drunken wager. 

He mentioned: ‘I used to be consuming with a good friend and so they mentioned: “Do you need to go and see the grave?”

‘After which my good friend mentioned: “Sniff cocaine off it’ and wager me £200 I wouldn’t do it on Fb Dwell.”

Within the video Semmens is seen emptying a bag of white powder onto the headstone after which rolling up a $5 notice.

Semmens snorting cocaine off Escobar's grave in 2018

The video was recorded in a Facebook Live

Semmens was filmed on a Fb Dwell again in 2018 snorting cocaine off Escobar’s grave. The video prompted him to shave his head and go into hiding earlier than he was discovered by police

The video shortly went viral, inflicting him to shave his head in an effort to vary his look earlier than going into hiding earlier than being discovered by native police and being kicked overseas.

Semmens mentioned the incident had made it ‘awkward’ for him to get a job, including that he had been despatched a lot of demise threats.

On the time he mentioned: ‘I simply thought it will be fun, I didn’t suppose it will go this far.

‘I used to be drunk on the time. I’ve been bombarded with threats that I’m going to get skinned alive.’ 

Speaking after the incident in 2018, Semmens said the incident had led to death threats and made it 'awkward' for him to get a job

Talking after the incident in 2018, Semmens mentioned the incident had led to demise threats and made it ‘awkward’ for him to get a job

Semmens has now been jailed alongside his co-conspirators for a world drug smuggling plot, that concerned trafficking massive portions of cocaine into South Wales between April 2020 and August 2021.

Talking throughout his trial, his lawyer mentioned Semmens snorting cocaine off the grave had come to the eye of Escobar’s ‘felony confederates’ and so they had been ‘not happy’ in regards to the footage.

The barrister described his consumer as ‘naïve’ and as a ‘fantasist’ inhabiting a Walter Mitty world of a ‘life-style he generally thinks he has’, earlier than including his consumer profited little from his involvement within the cocaine enterprise.

Pablo Escobar (pictured) once controlled more than 80 per cent of cocaine shipped to the U.S

Pablo Escobar (pictured) as soon as managed greater than 80 per cent of cocaine shipped to the U.S

Following the video, Semmens, alongside his co-conspirators, was found guilty with the intent  to supply cocaine between April 2020 and August 2021

Following the video, Semmens, alongside his co-conspirators, was discovered responsible with the intent  to produce cocaine between April 2020 and August 2021

At Swansea Crown Court docket on Thursday Semmens, alongside Andrew Botto, 34, Shane White, 34, and Ieuan Emlyn Williams, 37, pleaded responsible to conspiracy to produce cocaine all through the pandemic.

The cocaine conspirators had been sentenced to a complete of greater than 52 years in jail for peddling the Class A drug.

The court docket heard the boys had been typically delivery the drug from areas the place there was glut of provide to areas the place the provision was extra restricted and demand and subsequently income had been larger.

Swansea Plumber Andrew Botto, used a shipping container hidden behind camouflage netting and fencing just yards from one of city's busiest roads as a base for his separate cocaine-dealing operation. Pictured: The shipping container hidden

Swansea Plumber Andrew Botto, used a delivery container hidden behind camouflage netting and fencing simply yards from one in all metropolis’s busiest roads as a base for his separate cocaine-dealing operation. Pictured: The delivery container hidden 

The court docket heard White used the EncroChat safe communications community to run the operation whereas nonetheless working for the household glazing enterprise and plotted with Semmens to import kilos of cocaine from South America to the UK.

His barrister informed the court docket that not a single gram of the drug was really introduced into the nation resulting from their lack of skill, which confirmed ‘one thing virtually comical about their ineptitude’. 

Swansea plumber Botto used a delivery container hidden behind camouflage netting and fencing simply yards from one in all metropolis’s busiest roads as a base for his separate cocaine-dealing operation.

Swansea plumber Andrew Botto, used a shipping container hidden behind camouflage netting and fencing just yards from one of city's busiest roads as a base for his separate cocaine-dealing operation

Swansea plumber Andrew Botto, used a delivery container hidden behind camouflage netting and fencing simply yards from one in all metropolis’s busiest roads as a base for his separate cocaine-dealing operation

When police compelled entry to the locked unit in Might final yr as a part of Operation Wizard they discovered a 1kg block of high-purity cocaine in a coolbox together with disposable gloves, luggage, and weighing scales.

Botto was arrested later the identical day and was discovered to have greater than £2,000 in money in his trouser pockets.

Botto, who had a earlier conviction from 2014 for possession of cocaine with intent to produce, additionally beforehand pleaded responsible to a separate conspiracy, dedicated with others unknown, to produce cocaine.

Ieuan Williams (pictured) was given six years in prison at Swansea Crown Court for his involvement in an international drugs ring

Ieuan Williams (pictured) was given six years in jail at Swansea Crown Court docket for his involvement in a world medication ring

Andrew Taylor who was defending Semmens, mentioned his consumer had led an ‘uncommon and unlucky’ life.

He mentioned the drug vendor’s organic father had had little to do together with his son and Semmens had lived in Spain together with his stepfather the place he grew to become fluent within the Spanish language.

The barrister mentioned the defendant ended up working as a nightclub ticket promoter in San Antonio in Ibiza the place he met and shaped a relationship with a Colombian girl and the couple subsequently moved to Colombia.

Andrew Evans, defending Botto, mentioned his consumer was ‘a plumber from Penlan’ who had turned to his previous enterprise of supplying medication when work was onerous to come back by in the course of the bademic.

He mentioned Botto had been working as a one-man-band from his unit in Brynhyfryd and now realised he had ruined the lives of his accomplice and her daughter and wished he had not returned to his previous methods as a manner out of his monetary difficulties.

The advocate mentioned references written to the court docket on behalf of his consumer described him as a ‘essentially respectable and trustworthy individual’.

Shane White (pictured), used the EncroChat secure communications network to run the operation while still working for the family glazing business

Shane White (pictured), used the EncroChat safe communications community to run the operation whereas nonetheless working for the household glazing enterprise

Nicholas Wells, for Williams, mentioned his consumer had been concerned as a courier working below the path and instruction of others.

He mentioned Williams had served with the Royal Welsh Regiment for seven years and had been deployed to Basra in Iraq in 2003 the place he witnessed ‘horrific occasions’ together with the bombing of a college bus.

The barrister mentioned Williams was subsequently medically discharged and identified with post-traumatic stress dysfunction and in 2011 the Ministry of Defence accepted legal responsibility and gave him £60,000.

Nonetheless he mentioned a big a part of the lump sum went on authorized payments earlier than the defendant purchased after which resulting from his ‘reckless and impulsive behaviour’ ruined an costly automobile and he shortly discovered himself with little or no of the payout left.

Mr Wells mentioned that whereas being held on remand in jail awaiting sentence the father-of-two had turn into a valued member of small group of veterans who had been serving time.

As part of the same operation Richard Philip Ronald Gerrard, aged 42, (pictured) of Heysham Road, Heysham Lancashire, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine alongside Semmens

As a part of the identical operation Richard Philip Ronald Gerrard, aged 42, (pictured) of Heysham Highway, Heysham Lancashire, had beforehand pleaded responsible to conspiracy to produce cocaine alongside Semmens

James Wing, for White, described his consumer as a center man connecting sellers and suppliers and shifting cash. 

He mentioned the defendant had not been working for a Class A drug crime group and had been working in a ‘quasi-self-employed capability’ for which he was paid on a fee foundation and on the similar time had nonetheless been working for the household’s glazing enterprise.

The barrister described the conspiracy between his consumer an Semmens to import cocaine as ‘largely fantasy’ and mentioned although the pair had mentioned the plans and the massive income they hoped to make for some 15 months not a single gram of cocaine had ever really been transported nor was it ever prone to be transported as they ‘didn’t have the cash and didn’t have the wherewithal’, including ‘there was one thing virtually comical about their ineptitude’.

Mr Wing mentioned since being held on remand in jail the defendant had realised the devastating impact cocaine had on folks, households, and communities and realised it was not, as he had beforehand thought, only a ‘celebration’ drug or a drug you ‘take with buddies in Spain’.

However the barrister mentioned it was accepted White had made considerably extra money from his second medication enterprise of importing hashish from America and supplying it on to others – an enterprise for which he ‘stored the lion’s share of the income’. He mentioned White realised he had ruined his younger son’s future and realised he wouldn’t be there for his son for a substantial interval to come back.

A kilogram of cocaine recovered from White's mobile device, which was geo-located to one of his addresses

A kilogram of cocaine recovered from White’s cellular machine, which was geo-located to one in all his addresses

Decide Huw Rees mentioned defendants had been concerned within the commercial-scale trafficking and dealing of the cocaine.

He informed them: ‘It goes with out saying, nevertheless it seemingly must be mentioned, sheer greed led you to revenue from promoting an insidious Class A drug and not using a thought or a care in regards to the distress or hazard being inflicted on others. To place it briefly type – you had been in it for the cash and you need to pay the results in your avarice’.

With reductions for his or her responsible pleas he sentenced Semmens to 13 and a half years in jail, White to fifteen years and 4 months behind bars, Botto to 9 years and 7 months in jail, and Williams to 6 years in jail. 

The defendants will serve as much as half these durations in custody earlier than being launched on licence to serve the rest locally.

As a part of the identical operation Richard Philip Ronald Gerrard, aged 42, of Heysham Highway, Heysham Lancashire, had beforehand pleaded responsible to conspiracy to produce cocaine alongside Semmens, White, Botto, and Williams and he has already been sentenced to seven years and eight months in jail.

Luke Thomas, aged 21, of Heol Llan, North Cornelly, had beforehand been sentenced to 6 months in jail suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work after pleading responsible conspiracy to produce hashish which White had imported.

Talking after the sentencing detective inspector Russ Jenkins from South Wales Police’s drive intelligence and organised crime unit mentioned: ‘This was a fancy and protracted investigation which resulted within the profitable prosecution of various organised criminals. 

‘The online of conspirators had been unfold far and vast, crossing nationwide borders and continents. As a direct results of this investigation South Wales Police are nonetheless actively participating with different UK police forces and the Nationwide Crime Company, together with our worldwide companions, to disrupt the actions of those that search to flood the streets of south Wales and the broader UK with cocaine.

‘We’re dedicated to tackling essentially the most critical organised criminals who have an effect on our communities. I’d urge the general public to contact us with any data they’ve. It might be the important thing piece of the jigsaw to help us in prosecuting these critical and organised criminals.’

Who was Pablo Escobar, chief of the Medellin Cartel?

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was a Colombian drug trafficker.

Throughout his time on the helm of the Medellin Cartel he managed over 80 per cent of the cocaine shipped to the US. 

This earned him the rank of one in all Forbes Journal’s ten wealthiest folks on the planet. 

Escobar entered the cocaine commerce within the early Nineteen Seventies, collaborating with different criminals to type the Medellin Cartel.

Regardless of his function as a drug lord Escobar earned reputation by sponsoring charity initiatives and soccer golf equipment.

Nonetheless terror campaigns run by Escobar resulted within the homicide of hundreds turned the general public in opposition to him.  

By the mid-Eighties, Pablo Escobar had an estimated internet price of $30 billion and money was so prevalent that Escobar bought a Learjet for the only real objective of flying his cash.  

Greater than 15 tons of cocaine had been reportedly smuggled every day, netting the Cartel as a lot as $420 million per week.

Colombian legislation enforcement lastly caught as much as Pablo Escobar on December 2, 1993 in a middle-class neighborhood in Medellin. 

A firefight ensued and, as Escobar tried to flee throughout a sequence of rooftops, he and his bodyguard had been shot and killed. 

Supply: Biography.com 

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