FIVE men responsible for what police describe as a £125 million Class A drugs-production ring in Sheffield have been jailed for a total of 80 years.
Officers found several kilograms of heroin and cocaine totalling a street value of around £300,000, as well as cutting agents and equipment to support a drugs preparation factory at the house rented by one of the group, Mohammed Faizan, 26.
When they investigated further they discovered the machines would have produced Class A drugs with a street value of around £125m between April and September 2010.
Faizan, 26, of Whiteways Close, Adnan Lal, 27, of Crabtree Close, and Haidar Ali, 25, of Earl Marshall Road, all in Fir Vale, Sheffield, and Mohammed Zulficar, 33, of Cranworth Place in Eastwood and Mohammed Ishaq, 39, of Main Street in Mexborough, were all convicted on Wednesday.
And at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, Zulficar was sentenced to 24 years in prison, while Lal was given an 18-year term, Ishaq 16 years and Faizan and Ali 12 years each.
The five men were arrested in April 2012 and charged with conspiracy to produce Class A drugs as well as conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Detective Constable Andrew Shaw, the officer who led the South Yorkshire Police investigation, said: “This was a sophisticated operation which we were able to stop, thanks to the information from an observant and concerned local resident.
“This is a prime example of the community and the police working together in difficult times. Drugs are a blight on decent communities that can have disastrous effects on lives.
“I would always encourage members of the public to tell us what’s happening in their communities and we will take action wherever possible.”
Neighbours told police that, a couple of weeks after Faizan moved into the Endcliffe Crescent flat, they began hearing “strange, industrial-type” noises and they also regularly saw several Asian men coming and going from the flat.
When police raided the property, Zulficar, was at the apartment and, shortly afterwards, Lal arrived. Further investigations led police to Ishaq and Ali.
Mr Shaw added: “I would like to commend the jury for the patience and professionalism they have shown during the course of the trial.
“This has been a long and complex investigation by South Yorkshire Police and I am delighted that these men will now be brought to justice.”
Earlier this week, members of a drugs ring which pumped thousands of pounds worth of heroin onto the streets of Barnsley were jailed for more than 40 years.
The self-proclaimed head of the group, Paul Rayner, employed numerous people to store, cut and distribute the Class A drug across Barnsley.
Rayner, 44, of Spey Close, Mapplewell, was jailed for 12 years at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin.
During the nine-month investigation, heroin worth £85,000 and £20,000 in cash were recovered. Nigel Gibbons, 48, of Princess Street, Mapplewell, was Rayner’s main “storeman”, and received a six-year jail term for conspiracy to supply heroin.
Three men who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs were also sentenced.