THE second in command of a vast cocaine conspiracy that 'peddled misery' to drug addicts across Oxfordshire and beyond has been jailed.

A court heard today that Mark Rumble had acted as an 'advisor, confidante, courier and enforcer' in an organised crime gang that flooded the area with illicit drugs.

As police officers closed in and began arresting his associates after a major investigation some five years ago the 31-year-old of no fixed abode fled to Thailand.

He was only brought back to the UK to face justice in January and while awaiting his day at court at HMP Bullingdon he was at the heart of a COVID-19 scare but tested negative for the disease.

READ AGAIN: Crime boss at heart of coronavirus scare admits role in vast drugs plot.

Last month he admitted at Oxford Crown Court five charges relating to conspiracy and supplying class A and B drugs - cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines and Methoxetamine.

This afternoon he was jailed at the same court for more than 10 years for those crimes.

The sentencing comes as part of Operation Samba - seeing a total of 14 gang members convicted in a major organised crime investigation. They were all sentenced for their parts in the multiple drug-dealing conspiracies, selling to people in Swindon, Oxford, Reading and Didcot after a case at the same court in 2015.

Neil Wadley was the violent leader of the criminal gang centred around the Didcot area that sold cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines and the party drug MDMA.

Jailing Wadley for 17 years in January 2016, Judge Peter Ross branded him a professional criminal who used the drugs money to build a property empire.

READ AGAIN: Leader of Didcot drugs ring Neil Wadley and his gang jailed for a total of 92 years.

Prosecutors today said that Rumble had acted as the second in command in the enterprise and had briefly taken over the business after Wadley fled to Spain.

Outlining the case prosecutor Michael Roques said the group had been involved in buying and selling drugs between July 2014 and March 2015.

He outlined incidents of violence, 'sophisticated smuggling' and boasts by Wadley about extremely high levels of purity of imported cocaine.

The court also heard that Rumble has 33 previous crimes in his past, including a number for violent offences.

In mitigation Rumble's defence barrister Christopher Blake said that his client had enjoyed a 'normal upbringing' and had worked as a labourer.

READ AGAIN: Drug mastermind who used cash to build property empire ordered to pay £1million.

Speaking of Blake's time while wanted in Thailand he said his client had learned the local language and began working as an estate agent.

He said Rumble told him of his criminal past 'all I got out of this was some nice clothes, some nice holidays and access to other people's cars.'

Sentencing, Judge Ross said: "I frequently see when dealing with drug dealers, you peddle misery. Most Monday mornings I sit here and I deal with the drug review court and I see the wreckage of humanity in the grip of addiction."

Rumble was jailed for 10 years and eight months and must pay £3,000 in costs and a victim surcharge.