A judge warned that those involved in trafficking “deadly weapons” in Bradford would be dealt with very severely as he jailed five men for a total of 37 years for linked firearms and drugs offences.
Four defendants yesterday received prison sentences totalling 26 years, following on from the 11 years dealt out to Bradford drugs gang leader Sheraz Ali shortly before Christmas.
The five men appeared at Bradford Crown Court after police seized almost £90,000 of drugs and seized two firearms in separate incidents in Bradford and Keighley.
Sheraz Ali, 31, of Girlington, Bradford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession of a prohibited firearm and having a firearm and ammunition in a public place.
Umear Hussain, 24, formerly of Fairbank Road, Girlington, Bradford, was jailed for ten years for the drugs conspiracy and firearms offences.
Adnan Chaudhry, 31, who used to live at Ferndale Grove, Frizinghall, Bradford, was locked up for four years for the drugs conspiracy.
Mohammed Amber, 25, of Upper Woodlands Road, Girlington, Bradford, and Ali’s brother Ishfaq Ali, 28, of Kensington Street, Toller Lane, Bradford, were each jailed for six years for the firearms offences.
Prosecutor Tom Storey said £89,000 of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine was seized by the police on November 16, 2012, from the boot of a car parked in Rydal Road, Frizinghall.
Chaudhry was “jumped” by officers at the scene and Hussain and Sheraz Ali arrested later.
While Sheraz Ali was behind bars on remand for the drugs conspiracy, he rang his brother Ishfaq Ali and “set up” Hussain and Amber to ferry the guns from Girlington to Keighley by minicab on December 14, 2012.
Sheraz Ali told the police and they swooped on the cab outside the McDonalds restaurant in Keighley.
Armed officers seized a .22 rifle, with the stock and barrel shortened, a .410 double barrel shotgun and six shotgun cartridges.
Judge Hatton said: “The possession and passage through the public of deadly weapons is a very serious business indeed.”
He pointed out that Hussain and Amber did not know the police were tracking the weapons and jailing them said: “As far as you were concerned, these weapons were being passed on for no legal purpose, and could have had no lawful purpose.”
Judge Hatton told Ishfaq Ali: “You took on a considerable role on the ground in arranging and liaising the movement of these weapons.”
After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Warren Stevenson, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “This committed group of individuals conspired together to distribute large quantities of class A drugs and firearms throughout the Bradford area.
“The substantial custodial sentences should serve as a warning to those engaging in this kind of activity.
“This thorough investigation has ensured convictions for all those who were involved and shows that West Yorkshire Police is committed to tackling organised crime and removing firearms and drugs from our communities.”