FOUR men from Bradford have been jailed for a total of 12 years for their part in a plan to import and then sell on “massive” quantities of cannabis.
Unknown to them, the four were tailed by undercover police officers as they made their way to Manchester for an arranged meet, where consignments of the drug were handed over.
Packages containing almost 50kg of cannabis – worth more than £422,000 – were later seized.
The West Yorkshire Police operation led to the arrest of many others and the busting of a huge business worth an estimated £60m.
Six other men who have pleaded not guilty to their involvement will stand trial later this year.
Troy Bland, 34, of Leeds Road, Liversedge, Mohammed Ilyas, 33, of Cumberland Road, Girlington, Bradford, Imran Khushall, 41, of Hartington Terrace, Lidget Gardens, Bradford, and Noman Qureshi, 31, of Beckside Road, Bradford, were each sentenced to three years after pleading guilty to a single offence of conspiracy to supply cannabis.
Khushall was sentenced to an additional six months after pleading guilty to possession of a stun gun disguised as a torch, which was found in the bedroom of his home.
Ilyas was told his sentence will run concurrently with a sentence of eight years and three months imposed only a week ago at Leeds Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to an offence of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court was told the four were kept under observation as they met in Bradford on December 9, 2011.
Police followed the defendants to Oldham and observations resulted in cannabis valued at £337,960 being recovered. Bland and Qureshi claimed to be couriers working under the direction of others.
Khushall, who has a two-year old son, was said to have accepted that he played a more significant role. He maintained he had the stun gun to protect himself following a violent attack some months ago.