Three men from Bradford have been jailed for a combined total of 30 years for their roles in a major drugs conspiracy involving almost £2million of Class A drugs.
Sheeraz Khan, 33, from Garibaldi Street, Thornbury; and Tahir Ali, 28, from Thornton Lane, little Horton, were both handed 11 year sentences, whilst Saif Al-Meskry, 22, from Thornton Lane, Little Horton, was given a nine and a half year term. All three pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply Class A drugs.
The three men planned on dealing heroin and cocaine worth in excess of £1.8million, with their haul, in an industrial unit in West Bowling, only discovered by officers during a routine burglary patrol.
In November 2012, officers made the discovery at Lessarna Court, where 30kilograms of heroin was seized by the police. The base had acted as a production plant for crack cocaine whilst doubling up as a storage site for the heroin.
Judge Peter Benson told the defendants: “This was an extremely sophisticated operation, operating for some time and capable of producing vast profits, as well as flooding the streets of Bradford with heroin and crack cocaine.”
With a street value in the millions, evidence was also shown in court of a ‘dealer list’ which had Ali’s thumb print on, showing drugs worth more than £420,000 had been traded in one month alone.
“That demonstrates the scale of this operation in which you were all involved,” Judge Benson added.
Prosecutor David Dixon said the conspiracy lasted at least eight months in 2012.
Mr Dixon said: “This was a commercial and carefully run drugs factory guaranteeing substantial financial rewards. It was a substantial and sustained conspiracy.”
A fourth man, Abbas Khan, is also wanted in connection with the conspiracy, and fled when police raided the unit. Anybody with any information in regards to the whereabouts of Khan is asked to contact the police on 101.
Detective Inspector Jon Key, of West Yorkshire Police's Organised Crime Unit, said after the sentencing: “This was clearly a significant seizure initiated by local Neighbourhood Police officers acting on community intelligence and we would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for their support and our colleagues in the Republic of Moldova for their assistance in this operation.
“In addition to the sentences passed down today, we will also be pursuing confiscations of the defendants' assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act to make sure that any monies and identified property in the UK and Moldova, obtained from crime will be put back into our local communities.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “This is another example of where the hard work of West Yorkshire police has paid off.
“Some of this money will come back to us but I am campaigning for all the money seized across West Yorkshire to be put back into our communities.
“I would urge everyone to sign my petition at http://action. westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/ page/s/giveusbackallthemoney to get the 50 per cent kept by the government back.
“This extra money would make a huge difference to our communities and those affected by crime and support our officers and staff in their fight against crime, making sure our communities are safer and feel safer by going after those bringing misery to law abiding citizens.”