LLANDDEWI BREFI – Welsh, meaning “Church of David on the [River] Brefi” (map) Llanddewi Brefi was made famous by the BBC television series Little Britain, Matt Lucas plays the character Daffyd Thomas, “The only gay in the village”. The fictional village is named Llandewi Breffi.
OPERATION JULIE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Julie
In 1977 the village was the scene of one of the world’s biggest ever raids involving the drug LSD. Over 6 million tabs of the drug were seized as part of Operation Julie on 26 March of that year. Drugs were located at one location within the area. The discovery in Kemp’s car prompted the establishment of Britain’s first combined drug busting operation led by Dennis Greenslade.
On 17 February 1976, a meeting at Brecon involving a number of chief constables and senior drug squad officers formed a multiforce operation. This was the beginning of Operation Julie.
In May 1976, the undercover police moved into a farmhouse in Bronwydd overlooking Kemp’s cottage. Initially, locals took them for birdwatchers but as the undercover operation progressed from weeks into months, female officers were added. The first name of one of these surveillance officers, Police Sergeant Julie Taylor, was used as the operation’s code name.
Surveillance of Kemp noted his regular 50-mile commutes between his home in Tregaron and Plas Llysin, an old mansion owned by an American friend Paul Joseph Arnaboldi, in Carno near Llanidloes. The mansion was watched by police from an old caravan and people arriving were monitored. Lee instructed police to break into the mansion. In the cellar, police took water samples which chemically matched LSD samples the police had. Kemp’s home was now put under 24-hour surveillance and listening devices were installed.
London connection – In October 1976 a police team based at RAF Hendon monitored a house (first from a van, then from a house overlooking the property) in Seymour Road, Hampton Wick. This was the LSD laboratory run by Todd and Munro. Glass utensils used in this laboratory had been secretly marked by police at the factory that produced them in Yorkshire.
Raids, arrests & trial – On 26 March 1977, after 13 months of surveillance, Operation Julie officers swooped on 87 homes in England and Wales. The gang leaders were caught and a total of 120 suspects were arrested.
At Kemp’s home a package containing £11,000 was found as well as LSD crystals and tabletting equipment. At Carno, laboratory equipment was dug out of a well. A further raid in the Dordogne region in France located documents that detailed and proved the LSD business had been immense. Details of French and Swiss accounts were found as well as share certificates.
On 1 December 1977, officers searched Kemp’s cottage for a second time and dug up a large plastic box that contained 1.3 kg of LSD crystal – enough to create 6.5 million doses.
In 1978, 15 defendants appeared at Bristol Crown Court. It took a month for the prosecution to deliver the incriminating evidence. Kemp pleaded guilty and received 13 years in jail, as did Todd. Fielding and Hughes were sentenced to 8 years. In total, the 15 defendants received a combined 120 years in jail.
As a result of the seizure it was estimated the price of LSD tabs rose from £1 to £5 each, and that Operation Julie had removed 90% of LSD from the British market. It is thought that LSD produced by the two labs had been exported to over 100 countries. In total, 1.1 million tabs and enough LSD crystal to make a further 6.5 million, were discovered and destroyed. The total street value of the LSD would have been £7.6 million.
Cultural references – A three-part television drama, called Operation Julie, was made by Tyne Tees Television and broadcast on ITV in 1985, closely following the events of the case from the police point of view. It was directed by Bob Mahoney.
The song “Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad” by The Clash, from their second album Give ’em Enough Rope, takes its name from Operation Julie.
In December 2010, Welsh actor Matthew Rhys bought the film rights to the book, Operation Julie: The World’s Greatest LSD Bust, by Lyn Ebenezer.
In July 2011, Leaf Fielding’s book To Live Outside the Law, gave the first insider account of Operation Julie.
(click images to enlarge)
MID WALES DRUGS BUST 40 YEARS ON……
OPERATION JULIE UK – LSD & THE BROTHERHOOD
DAVID LITVINOFF – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Litvinoff
(born David Levy; 3 February 1928 – 8 April 1975) Born in Hare Marsh, Whitechapel, London, into a Jewish family with Russian origins. His mother and her first husband had fled tsarist pogroms in Odessa in 1913. She had four children with her first husband and five including David Litvinoff with her second husband Solomon Levy whom she married after the first was lost after he joined the Russian army in 1917. He took the surname of his mother’s first husband rather than his biological father. His older half-brothers were the writer Emanuel Litvinoff and the historian Barnet Litvinoff. The family were brought up in relative poverty, supported mainly by Mrs Litvinoff’s earnings as a dressmaker.
Litvinoff was a consultant for the British film industry who traded on his knowledge of the criminal elements of the East End of London. A man for whom there are few truly reliable facts, it is unclear how genuine his expertise really was, though he certainly knew the Kray Twins and was particularly friendly with Ronnie Kray, according to a biography published in 2016. He entertained his showbiz friends with stories of the Krays’ activities and his niece Vida described him as “the court jester to the rich, smart Chelsea set of the sixties”.
From 1972 until his death in April 1975 ‘from an overdose of sleeping pills’, Litvinoff lived at Davington Priory in Kent.
Iain Sinclair wrote in 1999 that it was hard to find anyone who remembered Litvinoff as the cost of joining that club was “burn-out, premature senility or suicide.”
Sometime in the early 1960s, a man called David Litvinoff awoke to find himself bloody and bruised, his head shaved, tied tightly to a chair that was hanging from the railings of his balcony high above Kensington High Street in west London. He had been knocked out and then hung out to dry, high above the Aldermaston marchers passing obliviously below on the way to Jerusalem. It was a punishment carried out by experts in violence, and it had been ordered by someone he knew.
David Litvinoff was, by nature and temperament, a wanderer between worlds: between the Chelsea set and hardcore criminals, between Soho and the East End, between the Scene and Esmeralda’s Barn, between Lucian Freud, George Melly, Peter Rachman, the Krays, John Bindon, Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger. He was a shape-shifter whose story – painstakingly unearthed in a new book by Keiron Pim – offers a window into a secret side of the 60s.
A vivid memory to his friends, Litvinoff was one of those people whose performance was their life. His most lasting achievement was the profound influence he had on Performance – the hallucinatory film directed by Nic Roeg and Donald Cammell, and starring Mick Jagger, which captured the London of the late 1960s, merging pop stardom, violent criminality, illegal drugs, gender-blurring, the occult and Jorge Luis Borges. READ IN FULL https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/19/the-real-life-jumpin-jack-flash-how-david-litvinoff-shook-the-60s https://archive.fo/pMe5V
In 1967, Litvinoff was living at The Pheasantry, 152 King’s Road, then dilapidated flats with a club in the basement that was in the process of turning into a form of artistic commune. Litvinoff worked in Tim Whidborne’s studio. Eric Clapton and Martin Sharp of Oz magazine shared a studio there; Germaine Greer, Robert Whitaker and Nicky Kramer lived there as well.
THE REDLANDS RAID
In February 1967 the British police raided Keith Richards‘ home at Redlands in West Wittering after having received a tip-off that illegal drugs were being used at a party there. Litvinoff is not thought to have been at the party but according to multiple sources, took it upon himself to find out who the police informer was. Nigel Waymouth confirmed: “After the bust, no one knew who had fingered them. David Litvinoff applied some of his East End methods to see who was culpable”. Nicky Kramer, a member of the trendy Chelsea set, immediately came under suspicion and Litvinoff and hard-man John Bindon interrogated him fairly roughly before deciding that he was not the man they were looking for. Supposedly, they held him out of a window by his ankles.
Redlands Bust Blog – http://redlandsbust.blogspot.com/
WALES – Sometime in 1968, Litvinoff rented Cefn Bedd cottage in Llanddewi Brefi. A stream of notable 60s figures seem to have stayed at the cottage including Eric Clapton, the artist Martin Sharp who designed the album covers for Cream and Nigel Waymouth who was one of the owners of boutique Granny Takes a Trip. There was speculation that a bearded man with long hair and an American accent named Gerry was actually Bob Dylan, but Christopher Gibbs has said that this was really Litvinoff’s “sidekick”, Gerry Goldstein. Local legend also has it that the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and even Yoko Ono visited and that Litvinoff distributed signed Stones LPs. One local saw an invitation to Hendrix’s funeral on the cottage mantlepiece.
Litvinoff left Llanddewi Brefi around the end of 1969 after being tipped-off about possible police interest in the cottage, returning to London and then going to Australia. On his return he stayed with Christopher Gibbs. In 1977, Operation Julie busted a large LSD manufacturing and distribution network operating partly from Llanddewi Brefi. Although this network is believed to have only been operating from 1969, and there is no evidence of any involvement by Litvinoff, media reports have linked it with his time in Llanddewi Brefi and the music industry figures that he brought to the village.
The above headline… “Queeny aesthete or street hustling procurer”
Funny that, cause Lucian Freud did a painting of Litvinoff & called it ‘Man in a Headscarf’.
But it was originally called… ‘THE PROCURER’
David Litvinoff: The man who mixed high art and low crime in the 60s\’ rock \’n\’ roll underground https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/david-litvinoff-man-who-mixed-high-art-low-crime-60s-rock-n-roll-underground-1542780 https://archive.fo/pZFKZ