Plot to flood Burnley with heroin and crack cocaine

Manchester Crown Court

Manchester Crown Court

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Two members of a drugs ring involved in a £860,000 plot to flood Oldham and Burnley with heroin and crack cocaine, have been told by top judges their jail terms were not a day too long.

Behzad Ali, 29, and Kamran Khan, 20, were part of a seven-strong gang busted by as part of Greater Manchester Police’s Operation Alamos and brought to justice earlier this year.

Ali, of Belvedere Road, Burnley, was jailed for eight years and Khan, of Laxey Close, Chadderton, Oldham, for six-and-half years, at Manchester Crown Court in January, after both admitted Class A drugs offences.

Lord Justice Laws, Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Walker, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, today heard lawyers for both men argue they were treated too harshly.

The court heard the gang took delivery of packages of heroin - totalling five kilos - from Pakistan over the course of a year between April 2013 and 2014.

These packages appeared to be filled with innocuous items such as clothes, restaurant menus and other items, but in fact contained class A drugs.

The gang had these packages delivered to an array of addresses in Burnley and Oldham and used a number of aliases and couriers in an attempt to cover their tracks, the court heard.

Lawyers for Khan argued he was merely a “street dealer” and should not have been hit with so stiff a sentence.

Ali’s lawyers said he had only been caught with just over 83g of drugs and had been jailed for too long.

But, dismissing their appeals, Lord Justice Laws said in Ali’s case, premises owned by him had been used to prepare drugs for the streets and the total amount of drugs which passed through the gangs hands was “much larger” than just 83g.

“He was involved in a very serious conspiracy to import and supply,” the judge added.

In Khan’s case the judge concluded that, while he was only a street dealer, he traded a ‘substantial’ amount of drugs.