Drugs gang members locked up over major heroin and cocaine supply conspiracy in Leeds and Wakefield

Four men have been jailed for a total of more than 40 years over their roles in a major drug supply conspiracy based in Leeds and Wakefield.

By Tony Gardner
Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 11:45 am

The men were part of a gang which was brought to justice after undercover West Yorkshire Police officers carried out covert surveillance for three months.

Jurors heard the defendants were observed being involved in the "sophisticated" wholesale supply of heroin and cocaine on 19 occasions.

The illegal transactions involved a minimum of three-quarters of a kilo of class A drugs at a time.

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Hasim Saddique played a 'leading role' in the conspiracy. He was jailed for 15 years.

A total of 5kgs of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine - worth £401,000 - was seized during the police operation between June and October, 2017.

The four defendants were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Hasim Saddique, 35, of St Marks Street, Wakefield, was jailed for 15 years; Ryan Butterworth, 21, of Harewood Road, Wakefield, was jailed for 11 years; David Sweeney, 30, of Rishworth Street, Wakefield, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years; Fox Timms, 21, of Watson Crescent, Wakefield, was jailed for seven years

Judge Simon Batiste said: "Drugs are a scourge across our country.

Ryan Butterworth was jailed for 11 years

"The particularly harmful drugs are cocaine and heroin that cause untold misery for many people.

"That is why the courts always take a serious view of those involved in the supply of such drugs."

Saddique played a leading in the operation and had close links to Roheet Ahmed, the man believed to be at the head of the operation.

Ahmed is thought to have fled the UK to Dubai and is still wanted by police.

David Sweeney was jailed for eight and a half years

The Judge told Saddique: "I am satisfied on the evidence that you were directing the selling of drugs on a commercial scale and had substantial links and influence on others in the chain."

During the police operation, officers raided a property on Barden Road and found a hydraulic drug press, scales and a quantity of heroin.

Timms was arrested at the address but Butterworth managed to escape with a large white package believed to be the bulk of the drugs at the property.

Sweeney was observed transporting drugs in his Fiat Dioblo van on two occasions during the conspiracy.

Fox Timms was given a seven-year sentence

In May this year, eight people were sentenced to jail terms totalling 57 years over the same police operation.The judge praised detectives who helped bring the gang members to justice.

He said: "This was a case of enormous complexity."

After the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Walker, said: “These are significant sentences, which really represent the seriousness of the offences, as well as our continued commitment to tackling drugs and organised crime.

“In co-ordination with the Force’s ‘Precision’ serious and organised crime team and the Wakefield District Crime Team, we were able to apply the pressure that resulted in locating and identifying each of those involved.

“The local community play a vital role in our efforts to achieve justice and we are dedicated to working with residents to ensure that the places we live are safe.

“Drugs are a source of anti-social behaviour, violent offences, as well as serious acquisitive crime and we hope these sentences will send out a clear message to others.”

Drug gang leader Roheet Ahmed is still on the run and being hunted by West Yorkshire Police. It is thought he may have fled to Dubai.