Drugs ring who 'polluted' streets of Sandwell jailed for 30 years

These 10 men were beginning combined jail sentences of 30 years today after police smashed a major crime ring said to have been polluting the streets of Sandwell with drugs

Drugs ring who 'polluted' streets of Sandwell jailed for 30 years

The gang, who are all friends or family, was said to have cruised the region in hire cars, while residents in the Sandwell areas endured kerbside drug deals.

Police said one of the phones used by the gang received around 22,000 calls and texts in December 2013 alone, giving police an indication of the scale of the empire.

Det Sgt Wayne Dudley said: "This group were polluting the streets of Sandwell with their drug dealing.

"Local residents decided enough was enough and reported their concerns to us. And from the start of 2013 we routinely intercepted members of the gang as they cruised the region in hire cars, disrupted their activity, and gradually built up a picture of their drug dealing. That culminated with a series of coordinated raids and arrests last September.

"I'd like to thank the public for the information they provided which led to these convictions ? and I'd urge anyone else who suspects drug dealing in their neighbourhood to follow their lead and also contact their local police so they can take action."

Last year's raids followed complaints by Neighbourhood Watch members in West Bromwich, Stone Cross and Wednesbury of kerbside cash exchanges.

At Birmingham Crown Court last week Khan was jailed for six years; Zafar (21) and 23-year-old Badar Iqbal handed 27-month and 40-month sentences, while Usman (20), Itsham (18) and 25-year-old Jabran Chohan were imprisoned for 30, 36 and 28 months respectively.

Mohammed and Heer were given 30- and 32-month prison terms, while serving Birmingham prisoner Hamza Sufi (23) was jailed for another three years and 18-year-old Mujtaba Lodhi from Hutton Road, Handsworth, got 18-months for his role in the drug network.

Brothers Zafar and Badar Iqbal, from Taverners Green, Handsworth, and brothers Usman and Itsham Chohan from Westminster Road, plus cousin Jabran Chohan from Selston Road, Aston, were arrested during dawn raids on September 16.

Drug runners Salam Mohammed, 39, from Foleshill Road, Coventry, and 47-year-old Balvinder Heer from Grestone Avenue in Handsworth were held two days later.

Ringleader Harras Khan, 21, from Crompton Road in Handsworth, was on bail at the time after being arrested from a car that sped away from police in West Bromwich.

A bag of drugs was found sticking out of Khan's backside during a strip search. A tub of Vaseline and £1,000 in cash was seized from the car.

North Sandwell Police Inspector Akeel Najib said: "We have spent a long time gathering intelligence on these men so naturally we are pleased with the jail sentences. However, we're not complacent and our blitz on dealers continues.

"Drugs can have a huge negative impact on communities and residents are affected not only by the drug dealing and use itself but also by the associated anti-social behaviour that often occurs."

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