TWO Bradford men have today started prison sentences for the parts they played as members of a drugs conspiracy gang which supplied Class A drugs.

The gang of 21 brought misery to the streets of Merseyside and beyond and all have been jailed for a total of more than 135 years.

Appearing today at Liverpool Crown Court for sentencing following a 16-month Merseyside Police operation, Ataf Ali, 26, of Grange Drive, Bradford, was jailed for six years, and Abaid Jamil, 29, of Whetley Hill, Bradford, was jailed for four years and nine months.

Both had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs.

The operation targeted the supply of the controlled drugs in Anfield, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Devon and Cornwall.

During the course of the operation more than 100 people were arrested and 12kg of high quality Class A drugs were recovered together with a quantity of firearms and ammunition, cash and stolen vehicles.

After the case, Detective Superintendent Lee Turner said: "This operation was put into place after members of the public raised concerns about drug dealing in their community.

"Organised crime groups like this, who deal in the wholesale supply and distribution of controlled drugs, don’t care about the impact that supply of drugs has in their neighbourhoods.

"These individuals expanded their criminal enterprise by setting up a drug supply network in Lancashire, Devon and Cornwall, North Wales and Manchester.

"But I would like to reassure the decent members of our communities that Merseyside Police is committed to tackling the supply of drugs and we will continue to proactively tackle criminal gangs who think nothing of flooding the streets with dangerous drugs in order to profit from other people's misery.

"When we receive information about drug related crime and gun crime we will act. In relation to drug dealing, we often have to carry out an extensive operation, which can take some months, to gather evidence to ensure that when we get those involved to court the only option available is a prison sentence.

"This was a very thorough investigation by a committed team of detectives over a considerable period of time. It is a reflection of their hard work and commitment, and the strength of the evidence in this case, that the defendants all pleaded guilty and time and money was not wasted on a trial.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the detectives involved in investigating this complex and far reaching drugs conspiracy and prosecuting barrister Henry Riding and the Crown Prosecution Service for all their hard work in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.

"We will continue to take action but we cannot do this without the support of the public. We rely on our communities to tell us when there are criminal issues in their area so that we can take positive action and protect our communities. Any information supplied to us in relation to serious and organised crime will be acted upon."

Anyone with information about those involved in serious and organised crime, including the supply of controlled drugs and use of firearms, can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.