Father jailed after taking his family on drug-dealing trip

A married father has become the first drug dealer to be sentenced following a major crackdown by police in Halifax.

Tahir Taj, 29, was caught out twice during Operation Irondale and yesterday was locked up for 44 months.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court heard how Taj, of Grosvenor Terrace, Halifax, was driving a Range Rover Sport last September when his passenger supplied heroin to an undercover police officer in the New Bond Street area.

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Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said at the time of the drugs deal Taj’s wife and one of his children were in the rear of the Range Rover.

Judge Peter Benson was told that in August 2009 Taj had been released from a five-and-a-half year prison term for rape and assault and was on licence during the time he was committing the drugs offences.

Taj was questioned about that single drugs deal in January this year, but he claimed he had just borrowed the Range Rover so he could drive around in a nice car during Eid.

Mr Sharp explained however that during the second phase of Operation Irondale Taj was again involved in supplying heroin and crack cocaine to undercover officers on five separate occasions.

Between December 22 last year and January 8 this year Taj repeatedly turned up in the Fenton Road area and was involved in supplying Class A drugs to test purchase officers.

Mr Sharp submitted that Taj’s role was one step up from a street dealer.

Taj, whose first drugs offence was committed when he was only 15, was questioned about the later transactions last month and pleaded guilty to all matters when he made his first appearance before Calderdale magistrates.

Judge Benson imposed the jail term for offences of supplying Class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of heroin.

Taj’s lawyer Ann-Marie Hutton said Taj had been addicted to cannabis and cocaine for a number of years and he was paid in drugs for his involvement in the offences.

Speaking after the hearing Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson said: “This is the start of the results of Operation Irondale coming through. The sentence clearly reflects the seriousness of dealing drugs and shows that people dealing drugs on the streets of Calderdale risk a custodial sentence.”