Drugs gang were sentenced
Twenty three members of the drugs gang were sentenced after being arrested as part of Operation Jasper, a covert investigation into the trafficking and supply of class A drugs on the streets of Blackburn.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “This successful operation demonstrated that the police have the resources, skills and determination to bring criminal gangs such as this to justice.
“The crucial work carried out by Lancashire officers in keeping drugs off our streets achieves real results like this that make our communities safer, with this operation resulting in dangerous drug dealers being removed from our streets.
“Our Lancashire officers’ hard work and determination is key in keeping our streets safe and reassuring the public that no stone is left unturned in stopping criminal gangs.”
They appeared at Preston Crown Court week commencing 26th June after being convicted of their parts in a major drug supply network.
Two more members of the group – Kadeer Hussain and Nasam Ali – have also pleaded guilty to their parts in the conspiracy and will be sentenced next Friday.
Heading the ‘Sharky’ network was 46-year-old Manier (Kabbir) Hussain from Liverpool, who would arrange the transportation of controlled Class A drugs from Liverpool into Blackburn. He worked closely with his brother 40-year-old Kadeer Hussain, who would in turn supply the street level dealers from his home on Kempton Rise, Blackburn – the main headquarters/hub for the Blackburn operation.
A close associate of Manier Hussain was 26-year-old James Donohue from Liverpool. His role was to store the drugs, cash and other items associated with the ‘Sharky’ supply network at his home address. Adeel Mehboob, 25, and Nasam Ali, 42, both from Blackburn, would also liaise closely with Manier Hussain and make sure the street dealers were re-supplied with Class A drugs throughout the day.
Maqshud Mohammed had control of a dedicated mobile phone, known locally as the ‘666 Sharky’ line. His role was to take calls from drug users before sending a street dealer out to meet the user with the drugs they had ordered.
Police began to investigate the Manier Hussain ‘666 Sharky’ network in late 2015. A known associate, Liaquat Ali, a 46 year-old man from Clayton-le-Moors, was stopped and arrested at Manchester Airport in February 2016, having travelled from Pakistan in possession of 24 kilos of heroin. He was subsequently jailed for eight years after appearing at Manchester Crown Court.
A large scale covert investigation followed, during which officers executed a number of warrants in Blackburn and Liverpool. Items seized included class A drugs, namely cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, along with cash and high powered, expensive vehicles.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Vaughton said: “Operation Jasper is one of the largest drug supply investigations in the area for many years.
“The ‘Sharky’ network blighted Audley Range and surrounding areas of Blackburn with the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.
“I am pleased with the sentences so far, which should send a clear message that we will not tolerate drug dealing in our communities.
“The operation came about as a result of concerns reported by members of the public, and I hope these sentences will also provide reassurance to the people in this area that we will act on any information that is passed to us to make local communities safer.
“We will continue to do everything within our power to identify those involved in drug dealing and bring them before the courts. I urge the community to work with us and continue to contact us with any concerns or information about drug dealing.”
The sentences imposed are as follows:
- Manier (Kabbir) Hussain, 46, Lance Close, Liverpool – convicted following trial – 16 years in prison
- Kadeer Hussain, 40, of Kempton Rise, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – to be sentenced 7/7/17
- James Donohue, 26, of Wentworth Drive, Liverpool – pleaded guilty – eight years in prison
- Nasam Ali, 42, of Hareclough Close, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – to be sentenced 7/7/17
- Adeel Mehboob, 25, of Queens Park Road, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – nine years in prison
- Maqshud Mohammed, 42, of Ash Street, Blackburn / Toft Street, Liverpool – pleaded guilty – eight years in prison
- Omar Qasam, 37, of Bethesda Close, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – four years in prison
- Hassan Rahman, 26, (b.03/04/1991) of Logwood Street, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – five years in prison
- Shakil Patel, 32, of Ash Street, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – five years and seven months in prison
- Rizwan Khalid, 27, (13/04/1989) of Boland Street, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – three years in prison
- Mohammed Ismail,27, of Town View House, Shear Brow, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – three years in prison
- Ricky Williamson, 40, of Oxford Close, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years and eight months in prison
- Patrick Leggat, 41, of Dunoon Drive, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years and eight months in prison
- Scott Chinery, 28, of Canterbury Street, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years and eight months in prison
- Callum Hope,22, of Largs Road, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years and four months in prison
- Andrew Wignall, 27, of Sandwich Close, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years and four months in prison
- Toni Walker, 30, of Canal Street, Church – pleaded guilty – two years in prison suspended for two years, plus 60 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement
- Michael Whalley, (aka Alan Wright), 43, of Clifton Street, Darwen – pleaded guilty – two years and four months in prison
- Ali Akhbar Hussain, 34, of Warrington Street, Blackburn – convicted following trial – three years in prison
- Stuart Hartley, 33, of Copy Nook, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years in prison
- Bradley Steele, 21, of Oban Drive, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – 16 months in prison suspended for two years, plus 150 hours of unpaid work
- Christopher Leigh, 43, of Great Bolton Street, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years in prison
- Sameer Ainarkar, 38, of Hozier Street, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – three years in prison
- Terence Killeya, 80, of Broadfield Terrace, Accrington – convicted following trial – two years in prison suspended for two years
- Hamid Ali, 33, of Whalley New Road, Blackburn – pleaded guilty – two years in prison suspended for two years, plus 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement