A drug dealer involved in a plot to bring in cocaine from London to sell on the streets of Bradford has been jailed for eight years.
Zafar Iqbal, 32, was at the West Yorkshire end of a conspiracy to peddle misery, the Honorary Recorder of Bradford, Judge Stephen Gullick, said today.
Iqbal, a gambling addict who the judge said “lived way beyond his means”, was caught guarding almost £10,000 in a shoebox in his attic.
Iqbal, of Clipstone Street, West Bowling, Bradford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to handle stolen goods.
He was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court today after a trial of issue to determine the extent of his involvement in the plot.
Prosecutor Timothy Capstick said Iqbal worked closely with drugs courier Chukwuma Chikwelu, who was ferrying cocaine to Bradford from the capital.
Chikwelu, 33, an illegal immigrant was arrested at Leeds Railway Station in September 2007.
He had £40,000 of cocaine on him on what was his sixth trip to transport drugs to Bradford.
Chikwelu pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was jailed for six years at Bradford Crown Court in January last year.
Iqbal, who was arrested in October, 2007, made no comment to the police.
The court heard he was a gambling addict who lost £15,000 at Bradford’s Gala Casino.
He was charged with conspiracy to handle stolen goods after police caught him storing £10,000 of stolen television sets and paintings.
Iqbal’s barrister Tim Stead said his client had a wife and three children and wished to earn his living honestly.
Judge Gullick told Iqbal: “This was not some tinpot operation but a serious drugs conspiracy, involving others, intent on peddling Class A drugs on the streets of Bradford.”
He jailed Iqbal for six years for the drugs conspiracy and two years on top for handling stolen goods.
West Bowling dealer thought he was 'untouchable'
Zafar Iqbal, a drug dealer who believed he was ‘untouchable’, was arrested as part of Operation Garvagh, an investigation into organised crime in Bradford.
He went on the run after Nigerian illegal immigrant drugs courier Chukwuma Chikwelu was arrested, on his way to Bradford with a kilo of cocaine in his possession.
But police tracked Iqbal to a hotel in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The married father-of-three was found with his girlfriend and was arrested by armed officers.
Detective Inspector Steve Snow, of West Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Unit, said: “Zafar Iqbal was identified as a significant individual in the supply and distribution of Class A drugs throughout Bradford.
“He admitted meeting, or arranging to meet, Chikwelu on six occasions. Chikwelu was bringing up to one kilo of cocaine, worth £40,000, each time, so hundreds of thousands of pounds of the drug were involved.
“His conviction has taken him away from the streets of Bradford, and in particular West Bowling where he was seen by other dealers as potentially untouchable.
“His conviction, and significant sentence, which reflects his level of criminality, will send out a message to others who may have looked up to him.”