Ten people have been sentenced for their part in a large conspiracy to supply class A drugs in Swindon.
The group were sentenced following a complex investigation by the Dedicated Crime Team (DCT) at Wiltshire Police.
The case relates to a drugs network from London which began operating in Swindon in April 2014.
Following a report from a member of the public in relation to the network, an extensive investigation began by the DCT.
Phone analysis was carried out which found that more than 12,000 calls were made and received on the network’s main ‘dealer phone’ in less than two months as the group made contact with local drug users and dealers. In some cases, more than 100 messages were sent from the phone in less than an hour – indicative of drugs advertising messages.
Further enquiries were carried out which found that members of the group would regularly arrange transport between London and Swindon, by renting vehicles and using private cars on a daily basis, to deliver the drugs.
In total, officers seized crack cocaine and heroin with a street value between approximately £1,470 and £2,830.
Sentencing took place at Bristol Crown Court on 29 July, 5 August and 12 August.
The sentencing is as follows:
– Jahinur Mohammed Khan, aged 26, from London – 34 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.
– Siddique Ali, aged 37, from London, – 52 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.
– Jasmin Mahmud, aged 25, from London – 2 year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £10 victim surcharge.
– Jakir Khan, aged 30, from London – 6 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80.
– Ruhel Miah, aged 28, of London – 108 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.
– Farid Ali, 40, of Moredon Road, Swindon – 30 months imprisonment and a victim surcharge of £120.
– Benjamin Murphy, aged 28, of Stonefield Close, Swindon – 36 months imprisonment and pay a victim surcharge of £120.
– Anthony Watson, aged 26, of Oakham Close, Swindon – 21 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months and pay a victim surcharge of £100.
– Brian Roberts, aged 53, of Edington Close, Swindon – 32 months imprisonment and victim surcharge of £120.
– Zoe Walters, aged 30, Pewsham Road, Swindon – 12 month community sentence and victim surcharge of £60.
PC Gareth Snoad of the Dedicated Crime Team said: “It is due to the vigilance of a member of the public who reported concerns in relation to this network that we were able to progress the investigation and finally reach court. It may have been a very different outcome had it not been for their report.
“Organised gangs in London continue to target areas like Wiltshire and vulnerable people within our society. They bring with them weapons and threats of violence as they try to protect their ‘businesses’. We will not tolerate this behaviour.
“Drug supply is seen by many people as a victimless crime. But, this could not be further from the truth. Like this case, and many others before it, there is a chain of vulnerability and exploitation starting with gang leaders in big cities like London and moving down to the vulnerable people living in small towns and rural counties like Wiltshire. This group would regularly travel down the M4 and into Swindon to exploit these people who are vulnerable due to their addictions.
“This investigation, although lengthy, serves to prove that these organised crime groups have no place in our community and Wiltshire Police will do everything we can to ensure justice is done and the most vulnerable people within our society are protected from harm. We will continue to target these gangs and the threat and risk they pose to our communities.
“If you suspect drug activity in your area, please call police on 101.”