A drugs ‘co-operative’ which stretched from East Lancashire to West Yorkshire and Merseyside has seen 10 men receive jail terms totalling more than 60 years.
Heroin and cocaine with a street value of around £2million passed through a wide-ranging distribution network that ran from co-ordinators down to street-level dealers, Preston Crown Court was told. Prosecutor William Baker said that the case revolved around the supply of heroin and cocaine on the streets of Burnley, Brierfield, Nelson and Colne and the ‘wholesale’ shipping of hard drugs across the north.
The ‘wholesale’ arm of the operation saw Mohammed Zishan Amjad transport two kilos of cocaine from James Taylor in Liverpool to two drug dealers in Bury. Street dealers Ziad Khaliq, Haroon Mahmood and Shahid Akhtar were first observed dealing in hard drugs to known addicts by Lancashire Police detectives in November, as part of the same chain. Mr Baker said it appeared that a terraced house in John Street, Brierfield, was used as a base where the drugs would be cut up and handed out to dealers.
Mahmood and Khaliq were each involved in police pursuits, on separate occasions in Brierfield and the Bank Hall area of Burnley, while trying to evade officers who wanted to talk to them about their dealing. Anwar Ahmed was also involved in transporting half a kilo of heroin from Huddersfield to the Accrington area, with Zishan Amjad and Akhtar involved with the drugs being moved on later.
Several arrests were made after half a kilo of heroin was brought in a taxi by a Huddersfield man from West Yorkshire to Brierfield. After the hearing DI Simon Brooksbank from Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit said:
“These individuals caused significant problems on the streets of Brierfield and Burnley as a result of their drug dealing and other criminality. I hope the fact that these men have now been jailed reassures local residents that we are committed to tackling organised crime on this scale, in turn helping to make their streets a safer place to live.”
Passing sentence during a two-day hearing, Judge Stuart Baker described the operation as a ‘drugs co-operative’ in which those taking part played different roles.
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Mohammed Zishan Amjad, 27, of Eskdale Close, Brierfield, was jailed for six years. Anwar Ahmed, 28, of Colne Road, Burnley, was jailed for seven years, and Mohammed Furqan Amjad, of Halifax Road, Brierfield, was given 54 months.
Shiraz Afzal, 46, of Limefield Avenue, Brierfield, was jailed for 69 months, Ziad Khaliq, 29, of Devonshire Road, Burnley, for four years, and Haroon Mahmood, 25, of John Street, Brierfield, for 52 months.
Cousins Neil Hazelwood, 30, and David Hazelwood, 41, both of Ben Brierley Wharf, Failsworth, were jailed for 11 years and six months and four-and-a-half years respectively.
James Taylor, 41, of Montrovia Crescent, Liverpool, was jailed for eight years and Shahid Akhtar, 39, from Huddersfield, was jailed for two years.
Amjad was also being convicted of money laundering and the Hazelwoods also pleaded guilty to drugs supply offences.
Carl Daniels, 40, from Bradford, and Mohammed Azad, 60, of Shipley, were each given 12-month jail terms, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours community service for money laundering.
Prosecutors accepted that there may have been a more senior figure who had an oversight of the whole conspiracy.
Source: “Lancashire Telegraph”