Gang members locked up over drugs conspiracy

Mohammed Wasaf Baig  28, of New Hall Lane, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs; sentenced to nine years and four months.

Mohammed Wasaf Baig  28, of New Hall Lane, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs; sentenced to nine years and four months.

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Members of a £17m drugs ring have been jailed following a major investigation by Lancashire police.

Mohammed Yahya Khan, Mohammed Wasaf Baig, Junaid Anwar, Yousef Ghafoor, Junaed Alam, Mohammed Umar Patel and Benjamin Langford were snared as part of Operation Nexus, led by Lancashire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).

Junaid Anwar  30, of New Hall Lane, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and sentenced to six years and eight months

Junaid Anwar  30, of New Hall Lane, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and sentenced to six years and eight months

Between September 2014 and September 2015 officers targeted an organised crime group based in Fishwick, Preston.

Members including Baig, Anwar, Ghafoor and Yahya Khan were seen by officers driving around the city in a Volkswagen Golf, conducting numerous meetings and engaging in the supply of drugs.

Following initial investigations, Baig was spotted meeting with two men linked to an organised crime group operating from the Bolton area.

This group helped to import high-purity drugs for distribution across the country, in particular the Preston area, through a well-established supply chain. Detectives estimate the drugs they recovered had a street value of £17m.

More than a dozen members of the group were sentenced at earlier hearings.

This week, others members were sentenced. Mohammed Yahya Khan, 28, of Great Townley Street, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and sentenced to two years.

Mohammed Wasaf Baig, 28, of New Hall Lane, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and was sentenced to nine years and four months.

Yousef Ghafoor, 28, of Ringwood Road, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and was sentenced to two years.

Mohammed Umar Patel, 30, of Mornington Road, Bolton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and was sentenced to three years.

Junaid Anwar, 30, of New Hall Lane, Preston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and sentenced to six years and eight months.

Benjamin Langford, 28, of Cranberry Fold Court, Darwen, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and was sentenced to four years.

Junaed Alam, 26, of Gibraltar Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and was sentenced to three years.

Insp Simon Brooksbank, of Lancashire Police, said: “This is yet another example of Lancashire’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit’s relentless effort to take drugs off our streets by combatting their supply.The activities of drug dealers can have such a negative effect on our communities. They can ruin lives, fuel other crime and can instil fear in our neighbourhoods. I hope that the sentences handed down today send out a clear message that we are determined to bring to justice those who are involved in drugs in our county and beyond and we will continue to tackle organised crime.”