Tag Archive: drugs

Landmark crackdown on Leeds drugs trade

Leave a Comment

Prison sentences totalling more than 40 years have been handed down to ten men convicted as part of a landmark crackdown on the organised supply of heroin and cocaine in Leeds.

The men were arrested in a series of raids at addresses across the city in May this year as a result of an investigation by specialist officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit and West Yorkshire Police Protective Service Crime.

It followed months of painstaking work to gather detailed and comprehensive evidence on those involved in a number of ‘ring and bring’ drug dealing phone lines behind the supply of heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of the city.

Two further arrests phases in July and this month have seen more than forty other people arrested with the majority charged with drugs supply offences.

In this case the group were shown to have been behind a drugs phone line that put £127,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of Chapeltown and Harehills over a five-month period.

The line operated 24-hours a day, seven days a week and was known as ‘the Paranoid Pete line’ due to the lengths those running it would go to avoid detection.

Between October last year and March this year around 20,000 calls were made to the line resulting in around 5,000 drug deals.

It was estimated that around two kilograms of heroin and crack cocaine were sold as a result.

The operation was led by Shawn Campbell and Darren Duncan along with a third man who is still being sought by officers.

Campbell, aged 44, of Mexborough Street, Chapeltown, and Duncan, aged 42, of Halliday Mount, Armley, were each jailed for six years and four months for conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Eight other men were jailed for drugs supply offences: Gabriel Byrne, aged 18, of Blenheim Avenue, Woodhouse, was sentenced to two years imprisonment; Anton Glasgow, aged 22, of Baldovan Terrace, Harehills, was jailed for five years and eight months; Tyrone Mitcham, aged 30, of Harland Square, Woodhouse, was sentenced to four years and four months custody; Tristan Brennan, aged 35, of Spencer Place, Chapeltown, was sentenced to five years and eight months; Shane Dunwell, aged 26, of Alderton Heights, Moortown, was jailed for three years and eight months; Yannick Ntantu, aged 20, of Lea Farm Road, Hawksworth, was sentence to two years and two months; Vincent Heaney, aged 47, of Trafford Terrace, Harehills, was jailed for two years and three months; Colin Liburd, age 46, of Bayswater Row, Harehills, was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Six other men convicted in the case are due to be sentenced a future dates.

Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “These men each played their part in an organised illegal drugs operation that put thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of the city.

“Sadly we know only too well the human misery that these drugs cause, not just to the individuals who take them but to countless others in the wider community who suffer as a result of drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

“These men were brought to justice as part of a major crackdown on the supply of Class A drugs in the city, which was led by officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit and specialist officers from our Protective Services Crime team.

“Those officers have been involved in more than a year’s worth of painstaking investigative work to build up a comprehensive evidence picture around these and other individuals who are yet to be dealt with at court following further arrest phases.

“The indisputable strength of the evidence that their work has produced has seen the defendants in this case left with no realistic option but to offer guilty pleas. We hope the significant sentences they have received will serve to reassure the community and send a very clear message to others who think they can get away with profiting from the organised supply of drugs.

“This landmark operation also targets the intrinsic link between the drugs trade and the criminal use of firearms. We have seen a number of discharges in the city which have been linked to feuds or turf wars between known criminal factions linked to the drugs market.

“Information from the community has a vital role to play in the success of this work and we would urge anyone who knows anything that could assist us to get in touch, anonymously if needed via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”


Four Bradford men jailed for Class A drugs conspiracy

Leave a Comment

Four men appeared at Bradford Crown Court and have been jailed for over 15 years roles for a conspiracy to supply class A drugs in the city.

Aqib Javed, 24, of Cecil Avenue, Great Horton, was jailed for four years and six months.

Khalid Hussain, 23, of Grisedale Close, Great Horton, was sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment, with a consecutive six months sentence after admitting dangerous driving.

Aqeel Zaman, 27, of Kirkham Road, Lidget Green, was imprisoned for four years.

Usman Chaudrey, 28, of Pickles Lane, Great Horton, was jailed for two years and eight months, with a further two months imprisonment for dangerous driving.

All four pleaded guilty to the drugs conspiracy charges.

Sentencing them at Bradford Crown Court, Judge David Hatton QC said: "Each of you has pleaded guilty to playing a part in a conspiracy whereby class A drugs were supplied to order by customers dialling a mobile phone number, which was placed from time to time in your mobile phones.

The supply of drugs went on for a period of weeks in 2015. The customer would be phoned back and his or her requirements speedily provided.

The judge said that each defendant played their part in the crime fully understanding what was going.

"Those who distribute these substances on the streets of this, and any other city, can expect to receive a sentence of imprisonment.”


“Hotbed of violence”: Half the men surveyed at prison say it’s was easy to get drugs inside

Leave a Comment

“One in seven said that they had acquired a drug habit while in the jail.”

Inspectors visited a G4S-run prison and found that it was unsafe, with an extremely high number of incidents of violence and self-injury. Three men had died by suicide since the previous inspection.

The report by Howard League for Penal Reform, found a high volume of drugs available at HMP Birmingham prison in Winson Green, which was affecting the prison’s safety and stability.

Half of the men surveyed by inspectors said that it was easy to get drugs in the prison, and one in seven said that they had acquired a drug habit while in the jail.

Many cells were dirty, overcrowded and poorly maintained, and too few men were able to take advantage of the education and training on offer. Inspectors found that almost half of prisoners were locked in their cells during the day.

Two months before the inspection, there was a riot in Birmingham that led to about 500 men being moved to other prisons. The circumstances behind the disturbance are the subject of a separate investigation, and are therefore not the focus of this inspection report.

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Birmingham prison was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons last year.

“This report reveals that, like so many other jails across the country, it remains a hotbed of violence, where prisoners find it easy to get drugs but much harder to get education or training.

“In the last fortnight we have seen worrying inspection reports on four different jails – Medway secure training centre, Pentonville, Brixton, and now Birmingham. How many more will the government tolerate before it takes meaningful steps to fix this mess?

“Ministers must take bold but sensible action to ease pressure on a failing system. Reducing the prison population would save lives and help to prevent more people being swept into deeper currents of crime, violence and despair.”

The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.


14 years in the slammer: Car boot’s drug bounty of £4 million uncovered

Leave a Comment
14 YEARS: Iftikhar Khan will spend 14 years behind bars

14 YEARS: Iftikhar Khan will spend 14 years behind bars

A drug dealer has been jailed for 14 years after police found £4 million worth of Class A drugs in the boot of his car.

Iftikhar Khan, 33, was seen loading items into the vehicle shortly before officers arrested him and discovered 30 kilogrammes of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine in three holdalls.

Leeds Crown Court heard one package of high purity cocaine was marked with a Burberry logo.

E-mails sent from Khan described the drugs as ‘banging’.

Prosecutor Paul Mitchell told the court on Thusday that officers arrested Khan after he came out of an alleyway on Quarry Street on 20th February this year to load the car.

Mr Mitchell said - in spite of the security - experts were able to gain access to some of the messages sent and received, which indicated the scale of the operation.

“This was a massive commercial level of supply of Class A drugs.”

Drug purchases ranging between £300,000 and £500,000 at a time were discussed.

References were also made to dealing the drug further afield in Liverpool and Manchester.

HORRIFIC STASH: Judge Geoffrey Marson said that Khan was running a ‘vile and wicked’ trade

HORRIFIC STASH: Judge Geoffrey Marson said that Khan was running a ‘vile and wicked’ trade

Khan, of Baring Avenue, Bradford Moor, pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Derek Duffy, mitigating, said his client did not dispute that he had been involved in a large scale supply of drugs but acted under the direction of others who had told him to move them.

He added: “The best mitigation is that he entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity in court.”

Jailing Khan, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said there had to be long sentences for “commercial enterprises such as these.”

“Dealing in Class A controlled drugs is a vile and wicked trade. It brings huge profits to those involved and misery and often death to those who are addicted to the drugs. “Day in, day out, this court deals with drug addicts who rob, burgle and steal in order to fund their habit.”

Inside the bags were more than 23 kilogrammes of heroin, five kilogrammes of cocaine and 1.2 kilogrammes of crack cocaine as well as some cutting agent.

A key to a flat on Quarry Street was recovered from him and officers found large quantities of cutting agents commonly mixed with Class A drugs including caffeine and Paracetamol.

A Blackberry mobile was also seized equipped with technology designed to send encrypted e-mails that cannot be viewed by law enforcement agents and so is favoured by organised crime operations.


Illegal drugs marketed at kids: Teddy bear ecstasy claims more victims

Leave a Comment
HAZARDOUSLY COLOURFUL: Ecstasy tablets come in a variety of jazzy shapes and colours, which are dangerously appealing to young people

HAZARDOUSLY COLOURFUL: Ecstasy tablets come in a variety of jazzy shapes and colours, which are dangerously appealing to young people

Ecstasy use is becoming an increasingly worrying problem among teenagers with tablets being pressed into funky, appealing shapes like Darth Vader, R2D2 and Mickey Mouse, a drugs expert has warned.

The pills, which are becoming more and more frequently marketed with child-friendly logos, recently resulted in the hospitalisation of three 12-year-old girls in Greater Manchester who took ‘teddy tablets’.

It is thought the girls are among the youngest people in the UK to have become very unwell after taking the drug.

Police officers believe that the girls consumed the tablets after mixing them with a bottle of fizzy drink.

Officers were called to Salford Precinct on Saturday night amid reports a girl was overdosing and later found her two friends.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Walker said he hopes they will make “a full recovery.”

He said: “Sadly, three more young people, who are only 12-years-old, have taken ecstasy and ended up in hospital.

“I am really concerned that children are now coming into contact with controlled drugs and they are now taking them on the streets of Salford.”

He added: “It is imperative young people understand the implications and avoid taking drugs, to stop any more young people ending up in hospital.”

The three girls are now in a stable condition and police are investigating how they got hold of the tablets.

A 22-year-old man and 21-year-old woman were arrested and questioned but both have now been bailed until 15th July.

Last month, 17-year-old Faye Allen, from Liverpool, died after suffering an adverse reaction to a super strong ‘MasterCard’ ecstasy pill at the Victoria Warehouse nightclub in Manchester.

Two people arrested in connection with her death are on bail.


Bye bye legal highs: Police crackdown on potentially lethal substances

Leave a Comment
CONTRABAND: The previously legal highs are now illegal across the UK

CONTRABAND: The previously legal highs are now illegal across the UK

A blanket ban on the production, supply and importation of new psychoactive substances has been introduced as part of the law.

Officers will be able to search suspects and vehicles with the power to seize and destroy the substances - commonly known as ’legal highs’.

Through the new Psychoactive Substances Act those caught with the intent to supply such drugs will face a jail term of up to seven years.

Officers from across the West Yorkshire Police Force have been visiting premises and those known to be distributing psychoactive substances in the run up to the ban to offer advice about the legislation change and what it means to them.

Premises will be revisited regularly to enforce the new legislation and where necessary, officers will take appropriate action.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for West Yorkshire Mark Burns Williamson said “I have previously called for the existing laws to be tightened up to reflect this rapidly changing problem facing our communities.

“With more psychoactive substances constantly introduced into the market West Yorkshire Police have been at the forefront of leading the way with partners in tackling this growing problem.

“It is testament to our partnership and innovative working that West Yorkshire Police have been praised for helping keep these substances off our streets and now it will be an offence to supply, or offer to supply psychoactive substances.

“I welcome that the police will now have greater and appropriate powers to ensure those breaking the law are dealt with severely in trying to lessen the very harmful wider impact on our streets and in communities.”


Ninth person jailed over international conspiracy to sail drugs into the UK

Leave a Comment
SEIZED: The yacht Makayabella was intercepted by the Irish Naval Services

SEIZED: The yacht Makayabella was intercepted by the Irish Naval Services


A ninth person has been jailed for his part in a transatlantic plot to smuggle over £160m worth of cocaine into the UK on a yacht.

Wayne Bush, 45, from Hull was jailed for six years at Leeds Crown Court consecutive to a sentence he is currently serving at HMP Humber.

The yacht Makayabella was intercepted by the Irish Naval Services and was boarded by armed sailors from the LE Niamh about 250-miles off the southwest coast of Ireland on 23rd September 2014.

SMUGGLING: Wayne Bush of Hull was sentenced to six years for his part in the crime

SMUGGLING: Wayne Bush of Hull was sentenced to six years for his part in the crime

Eight people have already been jailed in connection with the drugs plot, many of them from Bradford.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said over a tonne of cocaine on the yacht would have had a potential street value above £160m had it been sold in the UK.

Bush was part of a three man "coopering crew" due to sail out and meet the Makayabella to bring back the drugs, the NCA said.

An earlier attempt to meet the boat had failed after running out of fuel. Three men on board, including ringleader Stephen Powell, were towed back to port.

Two days later Powell, with James Hill, met Bush to buy another boat at a marina in Milford Haven, south Wales but they were unsuccessful.

When Powell, Hill and Bush heard the yacht had been intercepted and the drugs seized, they dumped the car they were travelling in at Cardiff Airport.

Six drums of red diesel for the next boat trip were found in the car boot, along with a marina compliments slip with Powell's and Bush's fingerprints on it.

Bush, formerly of Ormonde Avenue, Hull, was arrested by the NCA for conspiring to import class A drugs in connection with the Makayabella plot in June at HMP Humber, where is serving a three-and-a-half year sentence for an unrelated offence.

SEIZED: Over one tonne of cocaine was intercepted as part of an operation involving the National Crime Agency and Irish, French and Venezuelan authorities

SEIZED: Over one tonne of cocaine was intercepted as part of an operation involving the National Crime Agency and Irish, French and Venezuelan authorities

David Norris, NCA regional commander, said the operation had drawn on support from law enforcement partners in France, Ireland and Venezuela.

"Wayne Bush played an important role in this conspiracy," he said. "Bush was to have formed part of the crew who landed this huge haul of drugs in the UK after the crime group transported them across the Atlantic."

The eight already jailed are Stephen Powell (ringleader), Dawne Powell (Stephen Powell's wife), John Powell, Benjamin Mellor, James Hill, Philip McElhone, David Webster and Thomas Britteon.


Wakefield hash stash

Leave a Comment
DRUGS OPERATION: Some of the plants found in raids carried out across Wakefield

DRUGS OPERATION: Some of the plants found in raids carried out across Wakefield

Hundreds of Cannabis Plants Seized

Cannabis growers have been hit for six in Wakefield after hundreds of plants were seized in raids in the city.

Enquiries remain ongoing by the Wakefield District Police after officers seized over 330 cannabis plants following operations in the city centre, on Thursday.

It is estimated cannabis produced by the plants would have been worth tens of thousands of pounds in today’s market.

Officers from the Wakefield Neighbourhood Policing Team and Protective Services Crime executed warrants at two houses on Benjamin Street and at another house on Balne Avenue, Wakefield on Thursday 3rd March.

Plants were recovered from all three properties, one of which was set up as a full cannabis farm which had plants in all three levels of the house.

The raids were part of ongoing work by Wakefield officers to tackle and disrupt cannabis production in the city following a series of operations last year.

In 2015, officers seized thousands of plants from locations including a former business premises in Kirkgate and a huge industrial unit in Horbury.

Police seized over 2,000 plants from the building on Engine Lane, Horbury in June 2015.

Inspector Mark Chamberlain of the Wakefield District NPT, said: “We are continuing enquiries into these latest significant seizures which have seen us remove tens of thousands of pounds worth of cannabis from the streets of Wakefield.

“The raids came as a result of intelligence supplied to police and I can promise residents who contact us that we will not hesitate to act on information about these sort of operations.

“An awful lot of work has been and remains ongoing to disrupt cannabis production and I would ask anyone who has information about drug crime in the city to contact Wakefield District NPT on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

A 34-year-old man was arrested in connection with the cannabis farm on Balne Avenue while two men aged 25 and 26 were arrested in connection with the discovery of cannabis at one of the properties on Benjamin Street.

All three have now been bailed pending continuing enquiries.


Sniffing out crime: Scratch and sniff cards aim to stop drug use

Leave a Comment
INNOVATIVE: Councillor Arshad Hussain is backing the initiative

INNOVATIVE: Councillor Arshad Hussain is backing the initiative

A new project is being launched in the Keighley area to enlist parents and other people who work with youngsters to help combat the rise in cannabis use.

A resource pack which includes scratch and sniff cards is being issued for the Keighley awareness project entitled ‘No Excuses’.

These cards bear patches of specially developed inks which mimic the smell of cannabis weed and resin, and also two other drugs - mephedrone, also known as MCAT, and amphetamine, also known as speed.

The scratch and sniff cards will therefore help people to recognise the smells and be aware of when drug-taking activity is present.

The ‘No Excuses’ project is being launched between Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police, and social landlord Incommunities. It is being funded by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.

Cllr Arshad Hussain, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “Our youth workers have witnessed an increase in cannabis use and we wanted to enlist the help of parents in challenging this behaviour which could affect their children's performance in school and make them vulnerable to other dangers.

“The drug smells are a chance to get people thinking about what they are and what effect they have and the health consequences of legal highs.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, added: “I'm funding this project because I think it is important for us all to work together to combat this problem which is becoming ever more of a threat in our communities.

“So-called 'legal highs' are by no means safe. We are seeing an increase in people dying and being admitted to hospital as a result of taking these substances, so we all need to do more.

“Raising awareness around these issues, particularly among young people and parents, is extremely important so that they are fully aware of the dangers connected with cannabis and other substances.”

Any groups wanting to take part in the project should contact Liz Parker at Keighley Co-ordinator's Office on 01535 618008.


£35million cannabis empire crashes down

Leave a Comment
ILLEGAL: Evidence of the Saund’s activities were presented in front of Birmingham Crown Court including images of cannabis farms and giant wads of cash

ILLEGAL: Evidence of the Saund’s activities were presented in front of Birmingham Crown Court including images of cannabis farms and giant wads of cash

Uncle and nephew jailed for huge drugs network

Two men who oversaw a cannabis farm network across the Midlands - netting them a multi-million pound fortune - are now behind bars after West Midlands Police brought their drugs empire to an immediate halt.

Nirmal and Darryl Saund posed as respected businessmen - operating out of a Birmingham company called The Cayman Group - to strike rental deals on industrial units and residential addresses in Northamptonshire, Herefordshire, Leicester and Shropshire.

But having secured leases, the pair kitted out the premises with sophisticated hydroponics equipment and employed members of the Vietnamese community to act as live-in growers.

Between September 2012 and June last year, when they were arrested by West Midlands Police, it’s estimated they had netted around £35million in drugs profits.

West Midlands Police coordinated a major investigation into the family following cannabis factory finds by police forces across the Midlands.

Detectives ran surveillance operations on some sites, uncovered aliases used by the drugs barons created using fake passports and utility bills, and uncovered bank accounts used to stash drugs cash having followed Vietnamese ‘staff’ on bank runs.

And crucially, through sophisticated high-tech checks, they were able to trace the group to their headquarters in Baltimore Road, Handsworth Wood.

GUILTY: (l-r) Darryl Saund, Nirmal Saund and Cuong Pham were all jailed

GUILTY: (l-r) Darryl Saund, Nirmal Saund and Cuong Pham were all jailed

Nirmal Saund, 51, from Skip Lane in Walsall, admitted conspiracy to supply drugs whilst 31-year-old Darryl, from Foxcote Drive in Shirley, denied being involved but was found guilty after a trial.

At Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday 18th February, both men were jailed - for 10 years and six months, and nine years respectively.

In total, six members of the Vietnamese community were also arrested from cannabis farms run by the Saunds, some of whom went on to be jailed.


ZAYN MALIK: In a smoke of bother as he’s caught on camera smoking weed?

Leave a Comment

Bradford sweetheart Zayn Malik along with bandmate Louis Tomlinson are in a smoke of trouble, quite literally!

As the footage of Zayn and Louis happily puffing away on what looks like a marijuana cigarette has gone viral, One Direction’s spokesperson Mike Navarra, of Columbia Records has refused to answer any questions stating: “Our only comment at the moment is the whole situation is in the hands of our lawyers.”

zayn malik

TROUBLE: Zayn Malik and a voice believed to be bandmate Louis Tomlinson caught smoking what seems to be marijuana

The pair were en route to their ‘Where We Are Tour’ concert at Estadio Nacional in Lima, just outside Peru on April 27th along with three other people. They are seen talking about ‘something’ and when apparently Louis catches on to what they’re going on about, he says: “It’s about the joint. What a great thing to capture in a different language. They were just asking if it’s OK,” he says.

One of the other men asks: “Are we allowed to talk contraband in this?” a voice believed to be Louis replies: “Yes, that's what it is about.”

VOCAL: Louis Tomlinson can be heard bragging in the footage about smoking the illegal substance

VOCAL: Louis Tomlinson can be heard bragging in the footage about smoking the illegal substance

Louis is then heard saying he wants to “light up” as the car drives out of a parking lot, with a rolled cigarette appearing to be lit on camera.

“So here we are, leaving Peru. Joint lit. Happy days!” he can be heard saying.

At times members of the band’s team can be heard talking about ‘chicken.’ It isn’t clear what is meant by ‘chicken’ as the guys joke and laugh in increasingly high spirits.

To make matters worse, the five-minute film seems to be shot by Louis himself, how it’s been leaked still remains a mystery.

The teenage heartthrobs are thought to be in serious trouble with their record label and who knows what Simon Cowell’s reaction will be.

Fans have been split on how they feel about this leaked clip. Many have ripped up pre paid tickets to ‘One Direction’s’ concerts. Some have taken to social media stating that Zayn and Louis have been hugely irresponsible to their young fanbase where others have said that people should leave them alone.

Possession of a small amount of cannabis is not illegal in Peru.