‘Guns will not be allowed to take over this city’: Sheffield judge jails drug and submachine gun gang for more than 50 years

Guns will not be allowed to take over Sheffield, a judge vowed as he jailed a gang caught in the city moving a cache of weapons, including a submachine gun, and more than £80,000 of drugs.

By Tim Cunningham
Friday, 8th January 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:06 pm

Five men were sentenced to a total of 52 years for their roles in the scheme at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday.

Mohammed Arsalan Hussain "used minions to take risks, stashing property in cars and regularly ditching burner phones in a large-scale operation," Judge David Dixon said.

"Telephone evidence showed you were orchestrating everything and were in complete control," he told Hussain.

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Mohammed Arsalan Hussain, Mohammed Noor, Aqeeb Hussain, Sajid Fiaz and Shazad Hassan

But after officers recovered more than £150,000 in cash from his operation in 2019, Hussain tried to "flee like a coward and leave his employees to face the music."

He went into hiding in a hotel, but was arrested on a flight out of the country. Hussain, 31, was jailed for 27 and a half years.

Prosecutor Richard Thyne described how a covert police operation watched Mohammed Noor retrieve a Tesco Bag for Life from a Vauxhall Astra, parked on Belper Road in Nether Edge, at around 11am on April 9, 2019.

Noor took the bag to his Abbeydale Road home, and officers swooped.

Armed police in Abbeydale Road on April 6, 2019, when firearms were found in a property.

They discovered it contained four semi-automatic pistols, a revolver and a submachine gun. Five of the guns were attached to plastic bags containing ammunition, and in the upstairs bedroom they found 434 grams of crack cocaine, worth £43,000.

In the boot of the Vauxhall Astra they found four kilos of skunk cannabis, divided into more than 2,000 deal bags, worth £40,000.

Aqeeb Hussain, 26, of Napier Street, Sharrow, was "too important to risk moving two kilos of the cocaine," the judge said.

He has a history of supplying Class A and B drugs, and received seven and a half years for his role.

Hussain's childhood friend, Sajid Fiaz, 35, of Midhill Road, Heeley, was a "hard-working family man until he got mixed up in the business."

Fiaz "stupidly denied" the charges before a jury, but knew what he was doing, Judge Dixon said, sentencing him to seven years.

Shazad Hassan, 23, of Holmhirst Way, Woodseats, was "influenced by his family and peer pressure".

He was involved in storing and moving three quarters of a kilo of cannabis and received 15 months.

Noor, 35, from the Abbeydale Road area, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transfer ammunition, handguns and a machine gun, and possession with intent to supply crack cocaine.

Barrister Clare Ashcroft said Noor was involved at “a very late stage” and only used as a "last-minute conduit". He received a total of ten and a half years in prison.

Judge Dixon said: “Untold harm and misery could have come if those weapons were used,” adding that drugs “are the fuel that feeds the rest of the criminality that besets this great city.”

He praised a combination of “solid old-fashioned policing as well as more modern techniques” and paid particular tribute to analyst Jade Peacock.

The Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, South Yorkshire Police and the National Crime Agency were involved in the arrests.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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