Six men have been jailed for their roles in a £5.5m conspiracy to sell heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine on the streets of West Yorkshire.
Bradford Crown Court heard today (Friday) that Mohammed Dawood Aslam, formerly of Wyke, was the ringleader of the gang which processed the drugs at a flat in Bradford.
The gang had bought a fresh batch of high purity heroin from dealers in Manchester on February 12, 2013.
But police, who had been watching their comings and goings for some time, raided the flat later that night.
They uncovered a substantial haul of drugs, cutting agents, scales and other equipment, including a hydraulic compressor.
Judge Peter Benson heard Ravensthorpe man Mohammed Azam Yaqoob – known locally as Mr Sparkles after his car wash business – had helped to broker the deal for the 5kg of heroin with contacts in Manchester.
Adbul Iqbal QC, mitigating, said the 45-year-old had played no other role in the purchasing, processing or trafficking of the drugs.
Yaqoob, of North Road, was jailed for nine years and four months.
He had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs at an earlier hearing.
Ringleader Aslam also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs, but this was only after a trial had begun in his absence.
Abbas Lakha QC, mitigating, said his client’s taxes had spiralled out of control and he had reached a deal with HMRC to repay them.
He said: “At first he was able to manage them but then he fell behind. He found himself in a corner with no other way to raise fund.”
Aslam, 35, now of Knightsbridge Walk, Bradford, was jailed for 17 years.
Four others were also sentenced for their part in the conspiracy.
See next week’s paper for more on the case.