"the amounts sold during the operation was higher than £150,000."
A drugs gang were jailed for a total of 20 years on April 9, 2019, at Birmingham Crown Court after planning to bring cocaine from Birmingham and sell it in Stoke.
Their drugs operation took place between August and October 2016.
Officers seized £150,000 of high-purity cocaine, which the gang sold within a five-week period.
Farooq Ahmed, aged 41, of Birmingham, acted as a courier and would make regular evening trips in his Toyota Yaris on Fridays. His car was spotted in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent on three consecutive weeks in September 2016.
It was heard that Mohammed Khushal, aged 40, of Dresden, Stoke, was the head of the gang. He would contact Ahmed who then received drug requests from Mazafar Hussain and Mahmood Hussain.
In October 2016, 30-year-old Mazafar, of Longton, Stoke, was arrested in an alleyway in Lightwood. He had 14g of cocaine in a paper towel held between his buttocks.
An empty house in Argyll Road was searched and several items were seized including two bags containing 66.2g of cocaine.
Minutes later, Mahmood, aged 47, of Dresden, was arrested and officers searched his home.
They found 12.6g of cannabis, scales with traces of cocaine, benzocaine, creatine and two containers holding 56g of cocaine. Phones and £500 cash were also seized.
At the same time, Ahmed was stopped by officers as he left a house in Fenton. He admitted he was carrying drugs.
The house was searched and 12.1g of cocaine was found along with starch and creatine used to dilate pure drugs.
Ahmed’s Birmingham home was also searched and £4,210 in cash was seized.
Khushal was arrested on November 3, 2016. Detectives established him as the leader when they were able to map and time meetings between Birmingham and Stoke.
The prosecutor Dharmendra Toor said: “The amount of cocaine seized was definitely more than small scale street dealing and the cocaine was of very high purity ranging from 93 to 72 per cent.
“It’s estimated the amounts sold during the operation was higher than £150,000.
“Approximately 140g of high purity cocaine was received from locations visited by Ahmed, so at least that amount was sold. Cutting agent was also found at Fenpark Road.
“The crimes occurred between September 9 and October 7 with the products delivered on each of the five Fridays.
“The amount delivered on each Friday would be about 700 grams, on certain Fridays it could have been higher or lower.
“From August 31 to October 8, phone conversations show they were active on other days.
“Khushal was the source of the cocaine and he organised deliveries. He was clearly organising on a commercial scale. He had expectation of financial gain.
“When police went to his home address, they found £2,000 under his mattress.
“The shared business phone shows Ahmed’s movements from Birmingham to Stoke-on-Trent. He was the courier of the drugs, he dealt with customers.
“Khushal went to visit Ahmed in Stoke, so he clearly had a significant role motivated by financial gain.”
Balraj Bhahia, defending Khushal, said he was a business owner but it declined after his mother became ill and he had to look after her.
Stephen Sweeney said that Ahmed had a cocaine problem and went to Stoke so he could take the drug away from the prying eyes of his family.
Anis Ali, representing Mahmood, said he was frequent drug-user and was easily taken advantage of.
As the Stoke Sentinel reported, Judge David Fletcher said:
“This was on a commercial scale, not a massive commercial scale but commercial.
Khushal had links and influence on others in the chain and the high purity confirms a close link to the original source. There was expectation of financial gain.
“Ahmed was the courier during the conspiracy to Stoke-on-Trent, £4,000 was found in his home. Hussain was involved in the conspiracy before his admitted involvement on October 7.
“It is my view that you were not threatened and the presence of scales and cutting agent at your home confirms you were street dealing cocaine.”
Mohammed Khushal was jailed for seven years and two months after pleading guilty on the first day of the trial.
Farooq Ahmed was jailed for five years and two months after admitting to his role in the drugs operation.
Mahmood Hussain was found guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also received a one-month concurrent sentence for possessing cannabis.
Mazafar Hussain was jailed in July 2017 for three years.
Detective Inspector Pete Cooke, of Staffordshire Police, said:
“It has taken several years of persistence and hard work to bring these men before the courts and we’re glad they’re now behind bars.”