A north west drugs gang has been jailed for a total of almost 50 years for a conspiracy to flood the region with class A drugs.
Ringleader Mustaq Bagas, headed a well-established organised crime group with far reaching contacts and associates extending across the Ribble Valley, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire areas.
The group, which included Preston man Mubarack Patel, of Nimes Street, Callon, was responsible for the buying, selling and movement of significant amounts of cocaine and heroin throughout the North West of England.
During the course of the investigation, which started in early 2012, police recovered more than nine kilos of heroin, half a kilo of cocaine, over 13,000 ecstasy tablets, over 125 kilos of cutting agents and almost £225k cash.
The haul was found during a series of raids and seizures late 2012 and early 2013 at premises in Blackburn and Greater Manchester.
The final gang member Tahir Ghafoor, 30, of Lavington Avenue, Cheadle, has now been sentenced to six years imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class a drugs.
Mustaq Bagas, 39, of London Road, Blackburn; Maqsood Bagas, 24, of Mavis Road, Blackburn; Usman Akhter, 29, of Avallon Way, Darwen; Hussain Ahmed, 33 of Northmoor Road, Manchester; Nizam Patel, 24, of Trevor Close, Blackburn; Mubarak Patel, 34 of Nimes Street, Preston; Mohebour Rahman, 31, of South Street, Longsight, Manchester and Ijaz Saeed, 29, of Helme Lane, Meltham, West Yorkshire, appeared Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to their part in a conspiracy to supply class a drugs.
Mustaq Bagas was sentenced to ten years eight months imprisonment; Maqsood Bagas was jailed for six years; Akhter was given five years; Ahmed was given three years four months; Mubarak Patel was jailed for five years four months; Rahman was given four years four months and Saeed was given six years.
An eighth man - Nizam Patel was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment which was suspended for two years. He will also be required to complete 200 hours unpaid work.
Speaking after sentencing, Det Insp Mark Winstanley who was part of the investigating team, said: “I welcome the sentence handed down to Tahir Ghafoor today as it reflects the seriousness and level of involvement that he had in the supply of drugs, along with the others who were sentenced in July.
“This result is the last in a long and complex investigation which has involved a number of enquiries spanning across different police forces.
“Ghafoor and the others were working together to supply drugs to communities across the entire region and had to be stopped.
“This type of crime blights our communities and destroys lives so I hope that today’s result send a clear message to those involved in organised crime and drug dealing: we know who you are.
“You will be targeted and be prepared to receive a lengthy prison sentence.”