Cocaine kingpin jailed for 16 years in Albanian gang sting
A kingpin central to a cocaine racket between Albanian gangsters and Midland drug dealers was today starting a 16-year jail sentence.
Khalad Uddin was described as ‘the national co-ordinator, facilitator and link’ to the elaborate narcotic network in Kingswinford that spanned the Black Country, Oxford, London and Bristol.
The 35-year-old lived a lavish lifestyle with a plush apartment in Oxford that cost £28,000 a year to rent and drove a luxury fleet of seven cars including a Range Rover and a BMW 7 Series, Birmingham Crown Court was told.
Detectives discovered £442,000 in cash during a raid at Uddin’s property in Scholars Mews and the family home, both in Oxford.
A 10-tonne hydraulic press – believed to be used to package cocaine – was also found in one of his bedrooms.
The 16-year sentence will run concurrently with a 14-year term he is already serving after being found guilty of firearms offences last month.
Uddin had previously admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply drugs and one count of money laundering before being sentenced yesterday.
He would received packages of 1kg of cocaine from a London-based Albanian mob and sell them 'wholesale' onto the Black Country drug dealers on behalf of the Albanian gang.
Jailed for four years and 11 months alongside him was 30-year-old Michael Palmer, from Tipton, who acted as a drugs courier. He also admitted to being part of the drugs conspiracy.
Judge Murray Creed said: “This was a sophisticated and tightly controlled exercise that involved many different people at different levels.
“The cocaine in these cases had a purity ranging between 60 per cent and 91 per cent.”
He told Uddin: “Your involvement was central to matters because it involved fanning out the drugs to the West Midlands, Bristol and Oxford after receiving it from the Albanians”.
Four members of a gang dealing with Uddin were jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court last month, all admitting conspiracy to supply cocaine.
They included Craig Davies, 29, of Willow Rise, Brierley Hill, who was jailed for 15 years six months.
David Stokes, 31, of Tennyson Way, Kidderminster, got 14 years six months, while James Bishop, 33, of Vicarage Road, Stourbridge, got eight years. Bishop, an electrician, met Uddin on three occasions in Oxford for exchanges of either drugs or cash, being paid up to £600-a-time.
Jamie Green, 36, of Water Street, Kingswinford, was locked up for nine years four months.
Callum Bradley, aged 30, of Ashwood Marina, Kingswinford, took part in their final drug deal. He was jailed for three years eight months.