Two men have been jailed for their roles in an organised crime ring that ran a multi-million pound business supplying cocaine and heroin in the Bradford area.

Waqas Hussain and Junaid Khan were the final two defendants to be sentenced as part of Operation Gladberry, a major police surveillance undertaking that led to the recovery of 21 kilograms of high purity cocaine and two kilos of heroin, with a street value of close to £1.25 million.

“Furthermore, approximately £273, 000 cash was recovered, representing only a fraction of the monies generated by and laundered through this operation, as well as firearms and ammunition,” the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, said.

Hussain, 26, of Agar Street, Girlington, Bradford, and Khan, 35, of Prince Street, Dudley Hill, Bradford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine on the basis that they did not handle any of the drugs but stored large quantities of cash at their homes. They were each jailed for four and a half years.

“I say at once that whilst I accept this was your role in the operation, I do not accept that you did not appreciate the scale of it. The fact you were trusted by Mohammed Rashid, head of the operation, the frequency of your involvement and the sums of cash involved can have left you in no doubt whatsoever just how much class A drug was being purchased and then distributed to users in the county,” Judge Mansell said.

The court heard that the first significant event occurred shortly after 1pm on February 17 last year when Rizwan Shah, a trusted courier and warehouseman of Rashid’s, received a delivery of multi-kilogram blocks of cocaine.

Shah drove to his apartment where he photographed the drugs delivered. Later that day, he travelled to meet Hussain and he handed over a carrier bag believed to contain cash.

Three days later, Shah met with the same man from Lancashire who supplied him with another holdall of cocaine. He took it back to his apartment and then travelled to another meeting with Hussain where he handed over a carrier bag containing cash.

Shah was arrested later that day and a substantial haul of cocaine, heroin, cash and firearms were seized from his flat.

Rashid had lost his trusted courier and warehouseman but the business continued with Hussain and Khan storing and delivering large sums of cash representing the purchase price for the drugs.

On April 21, 2020, Mohammed Rashid was arrested and found to be in possession of an Aquarius encrypted or Encro phone, and a list with Hussain and Khan’s names on it.

“I sentence you both on the basis that you performed a significant role in this drugs operation, motivated by the promise of significant financial gain and aware of the scale of the operation.

“I do accept that you did not handle drugs and to that extent at least, your role was one step removed from those who store and deliver the drugs,” Judge Mansell said,

Hussain had a previous conviction for supplying heroin and crack cocaine in 2014. Khan had no previous convictions.