A DRUGS dealer who carried on supplying substances to an undercover police officer after his home was raided has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Hamza Ali, 21, was described in court as the main man behind the so-called "Jake line" which was uncovered by police during Operation Saucerlake in Keighley last summer.

The police operation, involving the deployment of an undercover officer, was started after residents and councillors expressed their concerns about Class A drug dealing in the town.

Ali, of Skipton Road, Keighley, was locked up yesterday for a series of drugs offences spanning a four-month period.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Ali, who had no previous convictions for drug offences, had already supplied Class A drugs to the test purchase officer when other officers raided his home on August 15.

During a search of the house police recovered heroin and crack cocaine valued at about £5,000 as well as dealing equipment such as scales, plastic bags, scissors and a dust mask.

Prosecutor Paul Nicholson said a phone found on Ali had the same number as the "Jake line" and he described the defendant as "the main man" behind that dealer line.

The court heard that the undercover officer was supplied drugs on 14 occasions through that line and Ali had been involved in ten of them.

All the dealing took place near Ali's home and on one occasion it happened in the vicinity of a school during school hours.

Ali was bailed by the police following the raid on his home, but Mr Nicholson revealed that within two weeks of the phone and other items being seized the defendant was again dealing to the undercover officer using the same number.

After his arrest for drug dealing, Ali claimed that he had turned from being a user to a supplier to pay off his own drug debts.

In mitigation, his barrister Ken Green told the court that pressure was being put on Ali and his family and at one point his client's older brother suffered a broken arm after being attacked.

"He would maintain, and does maintain, that his primary motive was to meet those debts he ran up at the time he was a significant user," submitted Mr Green.

He said Ali was acutely aware of the disgrace and shame he had brought on his family.

Ali pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to offences of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply, supplying Class A drugs and being concerned in drug supply and the Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC said the seriousness of the offending resulted in a jail sentence of seven years.

But Ali's early guilty pleas entitled him to a reduction of about one third which meant the sentence was one of four-and-a-half years.

Referring to other men who had already been sentenced as part of Operation Saucerlake, Judge Thomas said Ali's case was "at the very top of the pinnacle" of what was happening in Keighley last year.

He noted that the separate police operation which led to the raid on Ali's home had not brought him up short and he had continued to run "Jake line" after being given bail.

One of Ali's older brothers Iyaz Iqbal, also of Skipton Road, was jailed for 27 months after he admitted being the driver of a Vauxhall Vectra which was involved three drug deals last September

Iqbal, 27, admitted offences of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and Judge Thomas said he must have been aware of what his brother was doing especially after the police raid in August.

A 17-year-old youth, who cannot be identified, was also sentenced to an 18-month detention and training order for drug supply offences after Judge Thomas said he had been an enthusiastic and willing participant.

The court heard that then 16-year-old had turned up on a bicycle for one handover of Class A drugs and had bragged about being "the main man".

One drug deal had taken place near a school yard while children were playing and the teenager had been spotted with dozens of wraps in a bag.

The youth admitted being involved in the so-called "Baby line" on seven occasions in May and June.

His barrister Yunus Valli submitted that the teenager had been "used" by others for their own gain, but Judge Thomas told the defendant:"Young you may have been but you joined in with some gusto here."