Gang who sold heroin and crack cocaine throughout East Lancashire jailed following ‘lengthy investigation’

An organised crime gang who “ran a sophisticated operation” selling heroin and crack cocaine throughout East Lancashire have been jailed.

The OCG – headed by defendants Adeel Khan and Javed Miah – set up and rand the “Casper” and “ACE” drugs lines.

The hang operated from from Khan’s stash house in Todmorden Road, Burnley – the place where they stored and packaged drugs.

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Trusted members of the OCG would collect drugs from the address to make sure street dealers always had enough stock to sell to their customers.

Top row (L-R) Adeel Khan and Javed Miah: Bottom row (L-R): Matthew Hefford, Kasim Amin and Faisal Hussain (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Khan – the main controller of the “Casper” drugs Line – packaged, directed and organised the supply of drugs, ensuring the dealers were ‘topped up’.

Miah – who controlled the “ACE” line – was Khan’s second in command.

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Temp Det Chief Insp Tom Edmondson, of East CID, said: “Led by Adeel Khan, this tight-knit OCG ran a sophisticated operation with each member playing a significant and vital role.

Detectives seized significant amounts of Class A drugs during the investigation (Credit: Lancashire Police)

“Motivated by greed they targeted some of the most vulnerable people in East Lancashire and spread misery by preying on people’s desperation.”

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Detectives launched Operation Marina to put the OCG out of business – a lengthy investigation which saw officers observe members of the gang committing illegal acts, as well as seizing significant amounts of Class A drugs, cash and weapons.

When the “ACE” line was established, phone records showed more than 1,000 calls were diverted directly to Miah before later being diverted to other members of the OCG.

Forensic evidence linked Miah to the preparing and packaging of the drugs, with enquiries also revealing that he too controlled other members of the OCG.

A knife seized during the investigation (Credit: Lancashire Police)
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When Khan was stopped by the police in May, Miah rang co-defendant Matthew Hefford and sent him to Todmorden Road to remove evidence.

Hefford was a significant player in the OCG and attended the stash house not only to top up his own drugs supply but also the supplies of other dealers.

Defendant Kasim Amin was also a significant player, having regular contact with Khan, Miah and Hefford and delivering large sums of money and being topped up with ‘mid-level weights’ of Class A drugs.

Gabrielle Hughes, who is Amin’s partner, also prepared and bagged up the drugs and was also observed delivering cash to co-conspirators.

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Photo of baby surrounded by cash found on one of the defendant's phones (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Defendant Faisal Hussain was a street dealer for the OCG, but police said he did occasionally operate the “Casper” under the direction of Adeel Khan.

Faisal Khan was also a street dealer for the OCG.

All the defendants were convicted of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine:

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- Adeel Khan, 31, Juniper Close, Bradford: Jailed for six years and eight months.

- Javed Miah, 31, Brent Street, Burnley: Jailed for eight months.

- Kasim Amin, 23, Burnley Road, Cliviger: Jailed for six years and three months.

- Faisal Hussain, 26, NFA: Jailed for seven years.

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- Matthew Hefford, 36, NFA: Jailed for three years and six months.

- Gabrielle Hughes, 27, Burnley Road, Cliviger: Two year suspended sentence.

- Faisal Khan, 24, March Street, Burnley: 18 month suspended sentence.

“Through proactive and diligent police work we have managed to identify and charge these conspirators and dismantle their organisation,” Temp Det Chief Insp Edmondson added.

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“I welcome the sentences handed down to the defendants and I hope it sends out a clear message that drug trafficking will not be tolerated on the streets of Lancashire.

“If you are aware of illegal activity in your area I would encourage you to call us on 101, confident that we will take the appropriate action.”