Three street drug dealers were sentenced by a judge after the Telegraph & Argus published a front page ‘Most Wanted’ appeal.
Bradford Crown Court heard that one of the men, Abrar Khan, handed himself in to police after his photograph was published and another, Azeem Hussain, told officers who called at his home: “It’s me. I saw the paper.”
The T&A carried the appeal in February, with photos of ten suspects police wanted to identify as part of Operation Stalebank, an undercover investigation into street drug dealers in Bradford which has seen more than 100 people sentenced.
Prosecutor Richard Davies said an undercover officer used the ‘Tony’ drug phone line. A meeting was arranged and a drug deal took place with Hussain down a ginnel overlooking the playground of Atlas Primary School, Manningham.
The officer handed over £15 and was given three wraps of heroin. A 16-year-old boy was also present.
Mr Davies said police had issued details about people they wanted to speak to, and as a result officers attended the defendant’s address. Hussain told officers he had seen the newspaper and was going to hand himself in.
The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, said it was Hussain’s second conviction for drugs offences and he had gone into it with his eyes open.
The deal had been done quite openly very near to a school, which was an aggravating factor, but Hussain had played a lesser, rather than significant, role, the court heard.
The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, and was given a 12-month referral order.
Judge Thomas said he was 16 and got carried away. But he added: “You must have seen people ruined by class A drugs, and here you were getting involved in selling.”
Nineteen-year-old Abrar Khan, of Great Horton Road, Bradford, was given 15 months’ youth custody suspended for two years, with 100 hours’ unpaid community work, after he admitted one offence of supplying heroin to an undercover officer.
The deal took place in Bramley Street, Little Horton, last April.
Mr Davies said: “This defendant’s picture was published in the local newspaper. As a result the defendant handed himself in.”
The drug deal also took place close to a school.
Judge Thomas said there were very few people arrested in the police operation whom he had not sent straight to custody. But he added: “Your reaction, and your family’s reaction, to this prosecution is a proper one and is impressive enough to make me think you are not somebody dyed in the wool as a bad lad.”