More than 100 runners involved in Asad Javed and Imran Khan’s “highly profitable enterprise” which dominated the drug trade in Bradford for months had already been given jail sentences totalling more than 320 years before the court hearing started.
They operated a “ring-and-bring conspiracy” where they received calls from customers on their mobile phones as part of a scheme known as ‘the Saj line’ and despatched runners to deliver drugs to them at a set location.
Prosecutors say the pair arranged for heroin and crack cocaine to be peddled “in the heart of our communities, near to gyms and football grounds, mosques and schools”.
Bradford Crown Court was told today that while in jail Javed and Khan tried to arrange for drugs and guns to be planted so they could help police recover it in a bid to have their sentences reduced.
But their plan failed and after police discovered what they were doing the two men and their four accomplices were given separate sentences for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Police employed an undercover officer to act as a customer of the Saj line and gathered enough evidence to arrest some of the runners, meaning their mobile phones could be seized and linked to the ring-leaders.
Javed, 28, of Ashfield Drive in Bradford, and Khan, 28, of Staveley Road, Ingrow, were arrested in September and admitted conspiracy to supply drugs, but sentencing was adjourned until today after police discovered their prison to plant the drugs and guns.
Their scheme to get their sentence reduced while in custody at HMP Leeds was described as “short-lived” and “pathetic” by Javed’s solicitor, who said “it fooled nobody”.
Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said: “Each of them offered their services to the police, telling officers that they could lead them to the hiding-places where they knew firearms and class A drugs had been hidden.
“Each of them was then taken out of prison in police custody, they planned to point out those supposed hiding-places. The police would recover the guns and the drugs and Javed and Khan would get credit for providing useful information.
“At no time, however, did either Javed or Khan intend to provide accurate or useful information. Instead they planned to arrange the obtaining of firearms and Class A drugs themselves, and to have them planted.”
But he said the plan “did not go smoothly” as their co-conspirators, including Javed’s brothers Saqib and Amer, “mistrusted each other, and other people mistrusted them”.
When Khan went out with the police all that had been planted for him to find was a small quantity of heroin and an imitation Walther pistol, the court was told.
There was nothing at all hidden for Asad Javed to find, despite a package containing drugs and a revolver being planted. The court heard that when Asad’s younger brother Amer went back to check on it, “the package had gone”.
Andrew Dinning, senior crown prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “The sentences handed down today mark the end of a long-running series of prosecutions following an extensive undercover police operation to target the supply of Class A drugs on the streets of Bradford.
“119 successful prosecutions have taken place, and total custodial sentences of 364 years have been handed down.
“Drugs blight individuals and communities. Much of this activity happened blatantly, in the heart of our communities, near to gyms and football grounds, mosques and schools.
“An extensive drug supply and distribution network has been disrupted. These dangerous criminals are now behind bars and the streets of Bradford are safer as a result.
“Imran Khan and Asad Javed were the ring leaders of this drug supply and distribution operation. Whilst on remand in prison, they hatched a plan with associates outside prison to plant drugs and a gun in a secret location, and then assist in its recovery: thereby hoping to receive a reduced sentence.
“The arrogance and cynicism of this plan reveals the depth of contempt these criminals and their associates held for the rule of law.
“The substantial sentences handed down today send out a clear message that this type of criminality will not be tolerated in our communities.”
Both Asad Javed and Imran Khan were jailed for a total of 12-and-a-half years each, ten for conspiracy to supply drugs and two-and-a-half years for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Javed’s brother Amer, 35, also of of Ashfield Drive in Bradford, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years in total, four for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and three-and-a-half for drug supply offences. His other brother Saqib, from Shipley, was given a four year term for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Imran Khan’s partner Karen DeJong, 44, was given an 18-month sentence, and Lauren Shaw, 27, was given a sentence of the same length, suspended for two years. Both women, from Staveley Road, Ingrow, were sentenced for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Sentencing Asad Javed and Imran Khan, Judge Roger Thomas QC said they supplied drugs with “enthusiasm and ruthlessness” and “cared not a jot for the welfare of people you were supplying”.
The court heard an undercover West Yorkshire Police officer who went by the name ‘Mick’ gained the confidence of Javed and Khan and ordered heroin and crack cocaine on 43 occasions between January 24 and 12 July, 2013.
Mr Sharp said he was invited for a trip in the car from which Javed and Khan were conducting the day’s deliveries with the help of two runners. During the trip the two ringleaders openly discussed the nature of the operation.
Judge Thomas praised the work of police and prosecutors in bringing about a “test-purchase operation” prosecution much larger than any he had seen before.