Smiles, Buzz, Happy, Eric and I were drinking all day long that day in Tregaron. The pubs were open all day owing to the fair. They didn’t close for the normal afternoon break imposed by the liquor licensing laws prevailing at that time.
It was a marathon session. Smiles was on top form and was his usual extrovert self. He was an extrovert, but never boastful. A man who enjoyed life and was not afraid to show it. Buzz and Happy were mere followers, quite content to bask in the popularity zone that was the signature of Smiles. This was a man who could have been a TV or movie star, such was his charisma and good looks. He was generous, too. This was no doubt one of the reasons why the likes of Buzz and Happy stuck to him like metal filings attracted to a magnet. There were stories that Smiles had once lit a big fat cigar using a £20 note he pulled from his wallet and ignited. We never did witness such largesse on his part but it would not surprise me if that story was true.
Another man was in our heavy-drinking company that day. We had never met him before. His name was Doug.
A clear picture had fallen into place. A picture of the distribution network of Todd/Cuthbertson, Fielding, Spenceley and Smiles. The picture was the result of a combination of regular detective work, surveillance, telephone intercepts and the undercover work carried out by Pritchard in Wiltshire and by us in Wales. There was still intense pressure on Lee to bring the curtain down on the show but Lee stuck to his guns. He was right, as in November 1976 we were not sure where the acid manufacturing laboratory was. Or indeed, if it was in full swing or now under wraps ready for the next run. In any event, the theory of two labs was gaining momentum.
The telephone intercept on Smiles’ home revealed the existence of Doug. It was clear Smiles was supplying acid to Doug in considerable quantities. In turn, Doug was supplying it to street-level dealers in London. Nothing much else was known of Doug. Lee asked us to make the identification of him a priority. This was particularly the case as the telephone tap on Smiles had revealed a man called Tony. He was later identified as Tony Dalton. Dalton had arranged to meet Doug at a London pub. Frustration overcame Lee. There was insufficient time to put together a surveillance team to cover this meeting.
My tolerance level to alcohol had increased week by week, month by month. I suppose it was normal when we had first entered the village of Llanddewi Brefi in June. I was now able to drink vast amounts without falling over in a drunken stupor. My brain was always alert even if my body or legs stuttered and wobbled. This was a great attribute to have as an undercover officer. It proved priceless on this particular day.
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