11 Sheffield drug dealers jailed for 40 years following year-long Operation River crackdown

An 11-month operation to tackle violent and armed crime in Sheffield has resulted in 11 drug dealers serving over 40 years behind bars.

By Alastair Ulke
Friday, 29th October 2021, 10:25 am

The two-part crackdown, named Operation River, was set up in December 2020 as a direct response to gun crime and violence in Sheffield.

The force’s Armed Crime Team, created three months prior, began working with Sheffield’s Operation Fortify team to look at the drivers behind street violence, namely the competitive market in the supply of Class A drugs.

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South Yorkshire Police says it has put away nearly a dozen Sheffield drug dealers for more than 40 years total through Operation River

Detective Superintendent Paul Murphy, head of the Armed Crime Team, said: “We know the street violence and gun crime we see in Sheffield is inextricably linked to drugs supply. We were seeing a significant number of ‘dealer-lines’ distributing Class A in relatively small communities and this led to disputes between rival gangs.

“We began to delve in to these operations and identified a number of dealers operating along the Abbeydale Road corridor. In June, we responded on an unprecedented scale, executing 28 warrants across two days and making 29 arrests, primarily for the supply of Class A drugs.”

Eighteen of those arrested have since been charged and 11 have already been convicted and jailed. The remainder are all at various stages of the criminal justice process.

The team then moved its attention to the Manor and Arbourthorne area of the city where it said it was seeing similar issues.

Between October 4 and 15, the force revisited its enforcement tactics - executing 30 raids and making 28 arrests. Some 17 of these suspects have been charged and remanded and the remainder are under investigation.

DSU Murphy continued: “We understand the misery that drugs bring to local people and the negative effects they have in communities. It cannot be underestimated the damage that drugs gangs can do, especially those who exploit vulnerable adults and children to move, harbour and deal drugs on their behalf. This is known as county lines.

​“We are always working to take drugs off our streets, and stop criminals from profiting from the exploitation of others, but we cannot do this alone – we are stronger with your support.”

Sheffield’s district commander, Chief Superintendent Shelley Hemsley, said: “I am incredibly pleased with the results of this operation and hope it serves as stark reminder that we will not tolerate these enterprises here in Sheffield.

“Working alongside Sheffield’s Fortify team, the Armed Crime Team has made a real impact in the city this past 12 months and I’m proud of their tenacity in getting to the root of these issues. This has been a long-running operation but it’s great to see the results starting to come through from the courts.

“Even the smallest bit of information from you, the public, can make a huge difference. If you know of a child who’s at risk of being exploited by a gang, or a vulnerable adult being mistreated, or if you’re seeing suspicious activity in your area, please come forward and tell us about it.”

Detective Inspector Mark Catney, of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional and Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), added: “These fantastic results are down to police forces and other agencies working together to make a real and lasting impact to the communities of South Yorkshire and beyond. Criminals do not respect traditional borders and therefore we need to ensure we react accordingly as well.

“We worked closely with South Yorkshire Police and other partners on this operation including the National County Lines Coordination Centre, and we will continue to work closely to offer our support and disrupt these organised criminal groups.”

The operation has been run in partnership with the National County Lines Coordination Centre, British Transport Police, Home Office, National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU).

Drug dealers sentenced so far include:

Juber Miah, 26, of Violet Bank Road, admitted numerous counts of supplying Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class A, and driving offences. He was jailed for nine years on August 24.

Regan Dempsey, 22, of Manor Oaks Gardens, admitted numerous counts of supplying Class A drugs, possession of cannabis and possessing criminal property. He was jailed for five years on July 12.

Zachery Porter, 31, of Hyde Park Walk, admitted numerous counts of supplying and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs. He was jailed for five years on July 15.

Leroy Sheldon, 44, of Sheffield Lane, Rotherham admitted numerous counts of supplying Class A drugs and driving offences. He was jailed for four-and-a-half years on July 1.

Malcolm Page, 46, of Everingham Road, admitted numerous counts of supplying Class A drugs and driving offences. He was jailed for three years on July 9.

Mohammed Luqmaan, 20, of Larkin Grove admitted supplying Class A drugs. He was jailed for three years, nine months on July 13.

Marvis Cooper, 32, of St John’s Road, admitted numerous counts of supplying Class A drugs. He was jailed for two years and eight months on September 20.

Courtney Wild, 24, of Derby Street, admitted numerous counts of supplying Class A drugs. She was jailed for two years, eight months on July 12.

Damien Page, 53, of Harwood Close, pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying Class A drugs. He was jailed for two years, four months on July 14.

Jamelia Humphreys, 26, of Edenhall Road, admitted two counts of supplying Class A drugs. She was jailed for 16 months on September 17.

Timothy Doyle, 48, of Preston Street, admitted possession with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of Class A. He was jailed for 12 months on July 13.