“Scales were found in their car when it was stopped"
Three Derbyshire gang members have been jailed for distributing cocaine in huge quantities across the county.
Derby Crown Court heard that Luqman Rehman, Mohammed Ali and Usama Hussain supplied Normanton, Spondon, Mackworth, Belper and Castle Donington as part of their vast network.
The gang was caught when police saw them separating £61,000 of cocaine into street-deal bags using scales when they raided the house they were using as a base.
The prosecutor, Andrew Peet, said first of Rehman:
“On November 19, 2018, he had in his possession a controlled drug, cannabis, with intent to supply.
“This is now almost two years old. He was arrested on that date.
“The allegation was that Rehman, Ali and Sultan were a mobile cannabis dealing team.”
Mohammed Sultan is a fourth defendant who will be sentenced at a later date.
Mr Peet continued: “Scales were found in their car when it was stopped in Osmaston Park Road. Rehman was the driver.”
Cannabis worth over £500 was also found inside the car. In addition, police found mobile phones with messages that suggested the owners were taking part in drug deals.
On June 13, 2020, Rehman was stopped by police as he was leaving his home in Normanton. He was found to be driving without a licence or insurance.
Police searched his home and inside his bedroom, they found over £15,000 in cash, a fake Rolex watch and more phones indicating drug deals.
On July 19, 2020, Ali and Hussain had been at a property in Derby. Ali left in his taxi but was later stopped by police who found five wraps of cocaine inside.
Mr Peet said: “Simultaneously, police entered the house and inside they found Katie Blackham and Usama Hussain.”
Blackham will be sentenced on October 7, 2020.
Mr Peet said: “Hussain was wearing latex gloves and was in the process of weighing, packing and cutting cocaine.
“On the table next to him there was about £61,000 of cocaine.
“Hussain tried to run and threw a mobile phone to the floor. That was seized by police.”
It was established that Ali, Hussain and Rehman were all involved in the large-scale supply of cocaine.
Mr Peet added:
“They were busy, but they were making a lot of money.”
The gang members pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
Rehman also pleaded guilty to driving without a licence and without insurance and possession of criminal property.
They all had no previous convictions.
Stephen Cobley, defending Rehman, said: “Mr Rehman knows he will be remanded in custody.
“He understands that there has to be brevity as to what can be said in his defence.
“He said to me: ‘I did wrong. I am sorry and I won’t do it again. I do not want to come back here’.”
Mark Knowles, defending Ali, said: “Mr Ali pleaded guilty at magistrates’ court to this which I submit takes a good deal of courage to do.
“He knows he has disappointed his girlfriend and his father.
“He was due to get married in October this year, but because of the Covid situation, his work diminished to the point where he was waiting around and not receiving any calls.
“He felt that he had to provide and had to be able to pay for some of the wedding.”
In defence for Hussain, Ranjit Lallie said his client worked as an engineer for Bombardier before being made redundant as a result of the lockdown.
Mr Lallie also said that debt hunters were chasing him for money he owed from a car crash he was involved in while learning to drive.
Judge Robert Egbuna told the gang members: “All three of you were part of an organised crime group and involved jointly in the supply of drugs. These are very serious offences.”
Rehman, aged 19, was jailed for 50 months and had six points put on his licence.
Derby Telegraph reported that Ali, aged 27, and Hussain, aged 19, both received 44-month prison sentences.