Criminals who operated a so-called "ring and bring" drugs conspiracy to import crack cocaine into Wakefield have been sentenced to more than 21 years in jail.
Mohammed Jeewa, 31, Daniel O’Brien, 31, Christopher Garfield, 27, and Nathan Wharton, 24, and a 26-year-old man were all sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday for their part in running the a drug dealing hotline used to import Class A drugs into the district.
The line was uncovered by Wakefield officers who stopped a car seen being driven suspiciously in the city in 2016, sparking a near two-year investigation into a conspiracy headed by Mohammed Jeewa, from Batley.
He was sentenced to eight years and six months for conspiracy to supply heroine and crack cocaine and was also made the subject of a Serious Crime Prevention Order.
The other sentences were:
Daniel O’Brien,from Wakefield: Four years 11 months for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Christopher Garfield, from Wakefield: Three years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Nathan Wharton,from Dewsbury: Sentenced to two years and nine months for possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
A fifth male from Heckmondwike also received a two years suspended sentence for possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine, suspended for 2 years.
All of the men pleaded guilty prior to trial.
Police investigations began in October 2016 after officers stopped a VW Polo being driven by O’Brien and another male on George Street and arrested them both, as well as recovering crack and heroin from a sweets container.
On November 15, Wakefield officers stopped another vehicle on Park Grove Road in the city and arrested Garfield and Wharton on suspicion of drugs offences.
Both males had the same type of sweet container inside their vehicle, and officers subsequently recovered drugs from them.
Detailed enquiries identified the men were part of an organised crime ring headed by Jeewa, who employed dealers in a business style venture in which they ran ‘day’ and ‘night shifts’ operating the line.
They used a single phone number as a point of contact for drugs to be ordered. Police enquiries showed that after officers recovered the phone used, Jeewa had the number transferred to another sim card through his network to try and avoid disruption to his operation.
Detective Constable Richard Wingfield, who began the investigation while at Wakefield CID, and analyst Josie Wright, both received Judges Commendations.
Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, District Commander of Wakefield Police, said: “This has been an excellent investigation directly sparked by proactive policing by Wakefield officers who took action when their instincts told them activity they had seen wasn’t quite right. A simple stop escalated into a significant operation and it shows the real value of policing in this way.
“I wish to commend the investigating officers for uncovering the full scale of this ‘ring and bring’ network and dismantling a significant criminal conspiracy.
He added: “Drugs cause significant harm in our communities, and we continue to focus on tackling organised criminality with partner agencies at a local force and regional level.
“This is not a one off operation and it demonstrates our commitment as a district and a force to tackle organised criminality and ensure those who are prospering from causing harm to others are dealt with through the criminal justice process.”