Sheffield Crown Court heard on January 12 how Asad Khalid, aged 29, of Coalbrook Avenue, Woodhouse Mill, Sheffield, had traded with heroin and cocaine and Glock guns and had been dealing with organised criminal gangs.
Judge Sarah Wright told Khalid: “You were heavily involved in the wholesale sourcing and supply of class A drugs and the supply of firearms to organised criminals across the country.”
She added that Khalid was the primary user of a sophisticated, encrypted phone, which included revealing messages relating to the defendant’s offending.
Judge Wright said: "The messages describe you as being involved in the wholesale sourcing and supplying of drugs including class A drugs which included high quality imported cocaine and heroin in multi-kilogram quantities across Sheffield, the Midlands and London over a period in excess of 2 months. They also reveal that you were willing to supply firearms including handguns.”
Khalid, who ran bakery business in Rotherham was also found to have a pistol and cartridges in a flat above one of his shops, according to Judge Wright.
Prosecuting barrister Thomas Storey said Dutch and French police enforcement agencies used a phone platform which was being used by those involved in organised crime and they accessed a server to get data from devices.
Mr Storey added that other data was also obtained with other police enforcement agencies throughout the world and they forwarded the data to local police officers.
South Yorkshire Police subsequently tracked Khalid down, according to Mr Storey, after it was established the defendant was suspected of being involved in supplying class A drugs and selling firearms.
Khalid, formerly of Vincent Road, Sheffield, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply class A drugs between March and June, 2020, and conspiring to sell prohibited weapons between the same dates.
He also admitted possessing a firearm and to possessing ammunition after a raid at a flat above one of the defendant’s shops.
Simon Myreson, defending, said there was no evidence of a surge in gun violence during this period of offending and by virtue of the offences being a conspiracy others would also have been involved.
Mr Myreson added Khalid knows the shame he has brought upon his family who have said they will continue to support him.
Judge Wright told Khalid he had been organising the purchase and supply of drugs with substantial links and influence on others in the chain including people couriering cash.
She sentenced Khalid to 18 years of custody and said: “The damage that drugs and guns do to individuals and society is enormous. You were only interested in yourself.
“Illegal drugs cause untold harm and misery not only to those who use them but to wider society as whole who are affected by drug related crime.”
Judge Wright added: “Guns kill and maim, and those that become involved in supplying them to the criminal underworld where they can be used with appalling effect, be they used in gang warfare or be they used for other criminal enterprises, must expect long sentences.”