Young Sheffield drug dealer working for 'Goldie' line jailed after selling crack cocaine to undercover officer

A young drug dealer who was coerced into acting as a runner for a Sheffield gang, but later went on to have a ‘significant’ role in the criminal enterprise has been put behind bars.

Ahmed Farah was just 17-years-old when he was caught with 54 packages of crack cocaine and 24 packages of heroin as well as £772.83 in cash on December 27, 2019, Sheffield Crown Court was told during a June 23 hearing.

Prosecuting barrister, Stephen Grattage, described how an on-duty police officer made the discovery when he stopped Farah, now aged 20, on Washington Road, Sharrow, after noticing he and another male ‘smelled of cannabis’.

“As he got hold of the defendant he felt a blow to the left side of his head. There was what the officer described as a ‘scuffle’ and he managed to detain the defendant,” Mr Grattage said.

Ahmed Farrah, 20, admitted to a number of charges including being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs at an earlier hearing

He continued: “When arrested, the defendant said: ‘I have to carry them because I’m in debt, I only do it to pay off my debt’.”

Farah’s assertion that he had been forced to act as a drug ‘runner’ was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service through his basis of plea, Mr Grattage said.

Mr Grattage added that Farah, of Wensley Court, Page Hall, had been selling drugs on behalf of the organised crime gang connected to the ‘Goldie’ telephone drug line, through which users can arrange to buy crack cocaine and heroin.

He described how the presence of such gangs in an area can result in gun and knife violence and can have a ‘significant community impact,’ adding that police had embarked upon an initiative dubbed ‘Operation Musketeer’ in order to ‘disrupt’ such activity.

Ahmed Farah was just 17-years-old when he was caught with 54 packages of crack coacaine and 24 packages of heroin as well as £772.83 in cash on December 27, 2019, Sheffield Crown Court was told during a June 23 hearing.

The court was told how, as part of Operation Musketeer, an undercover ‘test purchases’ officer called a number associated with the Goldie drug line on March 11 last year and intimated she wanted to buy some drugs.

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Mr Grattage said she spoke to a male who told her to go the ‘Green Block’ near to Nuffield Gym on Napier Street, Sharrow and when she arrived and spoke to the male on the telephone he told her to go ‘to the top floor’.

"The Crown say this defendant was waiting for her,” Mr Grattage said, adding that Farah subsequently sold her three wraps of crack cocaine, and was later seen on London Road, topping up a phone associated with the Goldie line.

“Between February 2 and March 31 last year, there were 235 further calls forwarded to the defendant’s phone,” Mr Grattage said, adding that around four calls tend to be made per drug deal.

He added that it was the Crown’s position that by the time of this set of offences took place, Farah had a ‘significant’ role within the criminal enterprise.

Farah pleaded guilty to charges including supplying a controlled drug of Class A, being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, assaulting an emergency worker and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs at an earlier hearing.

Defending, Clarkson Baptiste, said Farah is still a ‘very young man,’ and suggested the reason for committing the second set of offences was ‘linked to his lack of maturity’ that came about as a result of a ‘fear’.

Mr Baptiste also referred the judge, Recorder Mark Giuliani, to a letter from Farah’s parents, about which the Recorder said: “They’re heart-rending words. It must be devastating for parents to find their child has become involved in this sort of activity. They’re law-abiding, respectful people who are making the best of their situation.”

Recorder Mark Giuliani sentenced Farah to three years in a young offenders’ institution.