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UK: Biggest drugs haul: Pair sent to prison

LdyLunatic

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[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Tuesday 15 Aug 2006
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TWO gang members arrested after police found imported cannabis resin
worth up to £172,000 - Lancashire's biggest seizure of the drug - at a
Burnley house have been jailed.

The town's Crown Court heard how the remnants of a large ecstasy haul
were also discovered at the empty property in Hilary Street, in March.

Cannabis was growing in two sealed bedrooms and the kitchen was used for
no other purpose than as a distribution centre for drugs.

Officers had kept watch on the premises for about a month after
complaints from residents.
continued...

Irfan Ahmed, 20, of Colne Road, Burnley, whose family owned the house
and who delivered drugs to local customers', was jailed for four years.

He was said to have been drawn into the operation because of the pull of
flash cars.

Ahmed admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin and ecstasy.

Ahmed's cousin, Hassan Latif, 21, of Swinless Street, Burnley, who acted
as courier and operated under Ahmed's instructions, was jailed for two
years.

He admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis resin.

Cannabis user Michael Reilly, 28, of Belgrave Street, Nelson, who acted
as "gardener" and tended the 36 cannabis plants at the house, was given
24 weeks in prison suspended for two years. He pleaded guilty to
producing cannabis.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Ahmed, who would not say who gave
him orders, he was involved in large-scale, commercial supply of the
"filthy" drug and was prepared to profit from other people's misery.

She said the defendant was fairly high up the dealing chain and added:
"People like you who are prepared to become involved in dealing drugs on
this scale must understand the court will pass very lengthy sentences to
punish you and deter others."

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said the house was the centre for
distribution of drugs on a large scale.

Police saw a car pull up, Ahmed opened the door using a key and Latif
carried a heavy box inside.

Latif then went back to the vehicle and took a heavy bag into the house.

Four minutes later both left and were arrested. Reilly was arrested at
the back of the premises.

Mr Grout-Smith said inside the house was almost 61 kilograms of cannabis
resin, probably the largest seizure in the county and worth up to
£172,000 on the streets.

In the kitchen, in a box, officers found ecstasy tablets, the remnants
of a cache.

Cannabis plants were growing in sealed rooms, with lighting and heating
and were thriving.

The prosecutor said the defendants were questioned.

Ahmed made no comment. Latif told police he might get killed if he told
them who had asked him to pick up the drugs from Hilary Street.

Gerard Doran, for Ahmed, told the court the defendant was sorry for the
shame he had brought on his family.

He had been impressed by flash cars and the lifestyle associated with
such an enterprise and had been persuaded and manipulated by others to
get involved.

Roger Baldwin, defending Latif, a former National Express Coaches
inspector, said he had spent his 21st birthday on remand and been due to
start work for the Inland Revenue the week he was arrested.

Latif had met someone who asked him to go to a cash and carry for a shop
and provided a vehicle.

Shortly afterwards he was asked to take packages to Hilary Street and on
occasions take parcels from that address to waiting cars.

The barrister continued: "Though these packages were invariably sealed,
he had a jolly good idea what was in them."

The defendant was not involved in direct selling of drugs and was not a
major player.

Defending Reilly, who became a father two weeks ago, Mr Doran said his
client got involved as he would probably get some of the cannabis crop.
 

Tarcisius

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Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Ahmed, who would not say who gave
him orders, he was involved in large-scale, commercial supply of the
"filthy" drug and was prepared to profit from other people's misery.

Which drug are they calling 'filthy'? If it's the pot that's a pretty fucked up thing to say. And profiting from others misery? Nobody HAS to buy pot, and I guarentee it isn't making them miserable.
 

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