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Black Country man in jail for murder given extra nine years for county lines drugs running

By Richard Guttridge | Tipton | Crime | Published:

A Black Country man serving life behind bars for ordering a drug rival’s murder has been given an extra nine years for trafficking Class A drugs.

Artaf Hussain was already in prison for murder when he was convicted of drug trafficking

Artaf Hussain, from Slater Street in Tipton, was handed a life sentence last August for ordering the stabbing of a man in Hereford who he’d been told had clashed with one of his street dealers.

Both he and knifeman Anthony Boyd were found guilty of murdering Robert Eacock and locked up for at least 25 years.

Detectives have now exposed Hussain as the head of a county lines drugs network known as 'Scooby'.

And the drugs kingpin has been handed a further nine-year prison term after admitting leading a group who supplied up to £300,000 worth of Class A drugs to Hereford from the Black Country.

16 different phones

A covert operation identified Hussain as the Scooby line’s lynchpin who used at least 16 different phones to co-ordinate drug deliveries by his county lines couriers in Hereford.

Harvinder Bangal worked closely with the 33-year-old and when police raided the 42-year-old’s flat in Wolverhampton they found £1,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine.

Daniel Quinn, left, and Albert Morris were both jailed for more than six years

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In total five men from Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton admitted conspiring to supply Class A drugs after being arrested for drug dealing on Hussain’s behalf.

They were handed the following jail sentences at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday:

  • Daniel Quinn, 31, from Radford Close in Walsall, six years nine months
  • Albert Morris, 22, of no fixed address, six years four months
  • Anthony Lowe, 29, from Essex Street, Walsall, four years 10 months
  • Mitchell Arnold, 20, from Blossomfield Road, Tipton, three years eight months. Arnold was also found in possession of a knife when he was arrested.
  • Harvinder Bangal, 42, from Cannock Road, Wolverhampton, two years and nine months

Paul Chamberlain was also detained after officers found the 47-year-old willingly allowed the Scooby runners to supply drugs from his home address in Lichfield Avenue, Hereford.

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Clockwise from top left: Anthony Lower, Mitchell Arnold, Paul Chamberlain, Harvinder Bangal

He was given a 24-week jail term suspended for two years for his lesser role.

Next stop: Seizing cash and assets

West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Julie Woods is leading Operation Ballet - the joint campaign between the West Mercia and West Midlands forces targeting county lines.

Det Insp Woods said: “Our investigation suggested Hussain was moving drugs into Hereford on a daily basis – but following a previous arrest in 2016 he was reluctant to get hands-on so instead used West Midlands-based runners to courier drugs on his behalf.

“The level of violence he was prepared to use in order to protect his drugs line was evidenced in the shocking stabbing of a man in Hereford in broad daylight.

“The drugs conviction may not add any more time to his jail sentence but it does now give us the opportunity to scrutinise his accounts and dealings – and to seize any cash or assets accrued through drug dealing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”

  • Anyone who suspects drug dealing in their community is urged to contact West Midlands Police via Live Chat at WMP Online or call 101.
Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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