TWO Sheffield drug baron brothers who were part of a national gang which distributed £6.3 million of drugs have been jailed for a total of 12 years.
Leeds Crown Court heard Hafeez and Rashid Rahman worked as part of a gang headed up by Bradford-based Mohammad Arif Hassan, which trafficked almost 100 kilos of the Class A drug destined for the north of England.
They were arrested after a joint investigation involving officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency and South Yorkshire, West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Humberside police.
The brothers, who were described in court as drugs barons, operated a ‘bash house’ in Sheffield where they cut heroin for onward sale to other conspirators as and when required.
Hassan headed up a similar business in Bradford with two ‘lieutenants’.
The joint investigation revealed a clear trading relationship between the two groups, with money and drugs regularly passing between them.
Between April and July 2010 last year almost 90kg of high-purity heroin was seized in Sheffield, Birmingham and Bradford, with more than £250,000 in cash.
Searches of a flat in Bradford found documents, quantities of heroin and cocaine, cutting agents, scales, firearms and large quantities of cash.
Forensic evidence linked the Rahmans to Hassan’s gang and two months later Rashid was arrested in possession of 2kg of heroin.
When officers arrested his brother Hafeez less than an hour later and searched his Sheffield flat, they found heroin, cutting agents, paracetamol, caffeine and a hydraulic press.
Judge Spencer jailed Hafeez, 37, of Johnson Court, Mellor Lea Farm Drive, Ecclesfield, to 10 years after he admitted two charges of conspiracy to supply heroin.
Rashid, 36, of Hampton Road, Fir Vale, was handed a two-year sentence after admitting conspiracy to supply heroin.
In total, gang members were sent down for 50 years.
Judge Spencer said: “These men pretended to be upstanding members of the community while carrying out illegal drugs trafficking.”
SOCA’s Gerry Smyth said: “It’s not unusual for criminal gangs which might be expected to compete with each other to collaborate.
“These men were operating highly profitable criminal enterprises close to the top of the Class A drug supply chain and covering a large geographical area.
“The harm they had the potential to cause was enormous. Taking out their collective networks has interrupted a significant supply route.”
Det Supt Richard Fewkes, from South Yorkshire Police, said: “This is an excellent example of how law enforcement agencies across the region can collaborate to disrupt and bring to justice organised criminal gangs.
“The impact this type of operation has on the supply of harmful drugs to local communities in South Yorkshire should not be underestimated.”