Three men who transformed the bathroom of a South Yorkshire house into a crystal meth lab are being hunted after going on the run.
Mohammed Chernarli, Mehdi Esmacpoor and Nehdi Tajabidi were today sentenced in their absence to a total of 27 years behind bars for producing the class A drug methyl amphetamine at a rented property in Rotherham.
A two-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court heard how they had travelled around the country to buy the chemicals and equipment needed to set up their illicit factory on Broom Valley Road.
Chernarli, aged 31, of Mary Hill Road, Glasgow, and Esmacpoor, 38, of Farm Drive, Rawmarsh, were both found guilty of conspiracy to produce the class A drug and each sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Tajabidi, aged 32, of Broom Valley Road, Rotherham, was convicted of producing the drug and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment.
All three, who denied the charges against them, are being sought by South Yorkshire Police after failing to appear at court.
Detective Sergeant Anna Sedgwick, who led the investigation, said: "These individuals set up and ran a significant enterprise from the property on Broom Valley Road and today's outcome reflects the gravity of the criminality.
"Not only were they committing serious crime, they were putting the lives of innocent people living close to the property at risk because of the dangerous nature of the chemical processes involved.
"These three men are now wanted and we will actively pursue them to ensure they serve their sentences behind bars for their crimes."
Police began investigating the trio in 2015 and Esmacpoor and Chernarli were arrested on May 23 last year, with Tajabidi arrested the following day when the property was raided.
Chemical containers and equipment including face masks, plastic drums and mixing utensils were found at the house, along with paperwork listing the estimated value of the drugs being manufactured.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Wilson, drugs lead for South Yorkshire Police, said this was the first case of meth production uncovered in the region.
He said the drug was extremely dangerous both for users, due to its highly addictive nature and toxic side effects, and for the wider community, because of the hazards linked with its creation.
“I hope today’s sentence sends a clear message that any form of drugs-related criminality will not be tolerated," he added.
Anyone with information regarding the men's whereabouts is asked to call police on 101, or if it is an emergency to dial 999.