A drugs gang, who flooded streets in the county with heroin and crack cocaine, have been jailed for a total 24 and a half years.
The four men and one woman appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 28 April 2016) after they were convicted of drug supply offences.
They were targeted as part of Operation Selene, an investigation carried out by the Targeted Crime Team policing department dedicated to disrupting organised crime groups in East Lancashire. The enquiry focused on the activities of the group, which was headed by 33-year-old Jemil Hussain.
Officers raided a number of addresses in Blackburn seizing cash, heroin, crack cocaine and mobile phones during the course of the investigation in May 2015.
The police enquiries revealed Hussain played a leading role arranging the supply of class a drugs, employing a number of street dealers to assist between January 2011 and September 2014.
Text messages recovered from the phones showed the defendants to be advertising the sale of ‘good quality’ heroin and crack cocaine available any time of day and receiving text messages from customers requesting various drugs.
CCTV footage also showed the defendants meeting with drug users on a number of occasions in Blackburn, Accrington and Oswaldtwistle.
DC James Williamson from the Targeted Crime Team said: “I am satisfied with the sentences handed down which reflect the serious nature of the offences.
“Operation Selene has been a complex and protracted enquiry which has required a lot of hard work and dedication from the investigation team.
“The people in this organised crime group were working together to flood the streets of East Lancashire with heroin and crack cocaine. This type of crime not only ruins lives and instils fear in our neighbourhoods, but is a driving force for other crime. Now that this group has been taken off our streets we can firmly say they are a much safer place, and hope this goes in some way to providing reassurance to the community.
“Lancashire Constabulary is committed to tackling organised crime groups and those involved - restricting their opportunities to thrive and undermine decent, law abiding citizens. I hope it acts as a warning to those who flout the law that their crime will not be tolerated in our communities.”