The operation, led by the Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) working in partnership with South Yorkshire Police and the National Crime Agency (NCA), was one of the largest in the ROCU’s history.
The specialist unit also recovered ammunition, £250,000 in cash and 50,000 MDMA tablets.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “This operation is a major victory in the fight against serious and organised crime in Yorkshire and beyond.
“Officers seized 20 guns – guns that cannot now be used to cause violence in the communities we serve.
“A huge amount of illegal drugs were also recovered including 9kg of high purity cocaine and crack cocaine and 70kg of class B drugs, including over 6kg of skunk cannabis."
“Illegal drugs cause untold misery in communities and I am delighted we have taken such a large amount out of circulation."
The network extended across all of the Yorkshire and Humber region and into the West Midlands.
Officers first raided an address in Abbeydale Road in Sheffield on February 22, 2019, where they recovered a firearm, drugs and cash. After further investigations, armed officers stopped a car in Wolseley Road days later on March 2. Inside they found a loaded K100 automatic pistol and Nashad Khan, 21, of Cromford Street, Sheffield was arrested. He pleaded guilty to firearms offences at Sheffield Crown Court and was sentenced to five years in prison on August 20, of that year.
Less than a week later on March 6, Derrick Woods, 41, of Blakeridge Lane, Batley, West Yorkshire and Jack Stretton, 23, of Manor Farm Drive, Leeds were arrested at the Showcase Cinema complex, Batley.
Subsequent searches located 50,000 MDMA tablets, 68kg of Class B Drugs and £100,000 in cash. Woods was convicted in May 2020 at Leeds Crown Court of Possessing Class A and B Drugs and Money Laundering receiving a 14 year prison sentence.
Back to the investigation, and on March 15, 2019, specialist search officers found two professional hides within a park area in the Netherthorpe area of Sheffield. A shotgun and a revolver were recovered from the hides.
On March 25, West Midlands Police stopped a Volkswagen Passat near Birmingham and found ¾ kg of cocaine. The driver – Darryl Wilson, 51, of Lime Grove, Sheffield, an associate of Hussain was convicted of possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply at Birmingham Crown Court in April 2020 and sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
On April 5, an Audi A4 being driven by Aqeeb Hussain, 26, of Napier Street, Sheffield, was stopped on Archer Road, Sheffield. Hidden within the light cluster was 140g of cocaine. Aqeeb Hussain had previously been observed taking 1.5kg of cocaine from a taxi driven by Sajid Fiaz, 35, of Midhill Road, Sheffield, and placed it in a Fiat Punto parked outside a property linked to Mohammed Arsalan Hussain. When officers searched the Punto they found 3kg of cocaine and crack cocaine.
Aqeeb Hussain admitted conspiracy to supply drugs and was sentenced on Friday to seven-and-a-half years. Fiaz was sentenced to conspiring to supply cocaine after being convicted at Sheffield Crown Court and was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday (January 8, 2021).
Noor was arrested on April 6. Officers found the following in his kitchen and bedroom:
500 grams of crack cocaine;
a CZ Sub Machine Gun;
a Reactivated Zastava 9mm Pistol;
a 357 Magnum Revolver and;
a Glock 9mm handgun and two Self-loading 9mm Pistols.
Five of the guns had a bag containing ammunition attached to the trigger guard.
Noor admitted conspiring to transfer firearms and ammunition as well as possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply and was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday to 10-and-a-half years.
A Hamza Mohammed, 20, of Staniforth Road, Sheffield admitted possession of the Glock pistol found at Noor’s address and in December 2020 was sentenced to five years in prison at Sheffield Crown Court.
On April 15, 2019, Ethan Hallowes, 20, of Stannington Road, Sheffield (an associate of Mohammed Arsalan Hussain) was stopped in the Upperthorpe area of Sheffield. Officers found class A drugs in the vehicle and he was jailed for three years at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting being in possession of the drugs with intent to supply in June 2020.
Another associate of Mohammed Arsalan Hussain – Luke Padley, 29, of No Fixed Abode was arrested on April 25, after being seen go to a vehicle on South View Road in which there was 1.2kg of cannabis. Padley is now serving a four and half years custodial sentence for drugs supply.
On May 3, 2019, a search warrant was executed at an address on Otley Walk, Sheffield. A .44 Revolver and five rounds of ammunition. An associate of Mohammed Arsalan Hussain, Rodney Bruce, 20 of Otley Walk, Sheffield was arrested and subsequently convicted of Possessing a Firearm and Ammunition and sentenced to six years in custody at Sheffield Crown Court on July 4, 2019
On May 27, 2019, Derice Cohen and Leon Waite were arrested from a vehicle in Sheffield containing a sawn-off shotgun. They were both convicted of a firearms offence and received four years and six years respectively in prison.
The operation didn’t end with the charging of Mohammed Arsalan Hussain on May 8, 2019. An innovative forensic technique used to examine the reactivated Zastava 9mm pistol saw eight further guns including an AK47 Assault Rifle, Mach 10 Machine Pistol and an ammunition press recovered. He was charged with various firearms and drug offences and was sentenced to 27 years in prison on Friday.
DCI Howard said: “This was an investigation on a massive scale which saw three law enforcement agencies - the ROCU, NCA and South Yorkshire Police work together to bring Mohammed Arsalan Hussain and his criminal empire crashing down.
"He now has a long time in prison to consider the consequences of his actions.”