Trio who supplied class A drugs to Bucks face nearly 20 years' worth of jail time

Investigating police officers say the men distributed 'huge' amounts of cocaine across the country.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 3:05 pm

Three men who acted as couriers in a nationwide drug dealing network which supplied to Bucks have been handed a combined sentence of nearly 20 years.

On Monday at St Albans Crown Court, the three men were jailed after they pleaded guilty to drug-dealing charges.

An investigation launched by Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), reports that the trio distributed 'huge' amounts of cocaine across the country.

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Sarfraz Asif, Jameel Khan and Ali Zarei have all been given jail sentences

A police report states that their drug supplying activity is linked to a larger Organised Crime Group (OCG).

Three men were also jailed for their roles supplying class A drugs around the country in a linked investigation. Between all six convicted assailants, 54 years' worth of prison sentences have been handed out.

Using specialist surveillance officers over a six-month period in 2019, investigators discovered the group used a network of couriers.

These couriers would then travel the country sending multiple kilogrammes of cocaine at a time to other gangs.

Officers described the equipment used by the men as, covert encrypted devices intended to be hidden from the police.

The couriers would often travel long distances to drop off the drugs before returning immediately afterwards.

As well as Bucks the dealers would travel to Yorkshire, Dorset, Middlesbrough, Leicester, Luton and Northampton.

At a St Albans Crown Court hearing on Monday the following were sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine:

-Jameel Khan, 27, of Winchester Street, Nottingham, was jailed for 10 years

-Ali Zarei, 27, of Derngate, Northampton, was jailed for five years and four months

-Sarfraz Asif, 40, of Dordans Road, Luton, was jailed for four-and-a-half years

Last month, two Hertfordshire brothers described by the investigators as the group leaders were sentenced. Brothers Ansar and Ajmal Akram, from Hemel Hempstead, were jailed for 15 years and 14 years respectively.

Ryan Brockley, from Leicester, was jailed for five years, on 9 August.

Khan’s role was as a trusted drug and cash courier, with detectives proving he had transported goods on 16 separate occasions, often returning with bags of cash in excess of £70,000 to hand directly to the OCGs leadership. He was trusted with an encrypted phone to liaise with the Akram brothers directly and is thought to have made significant sums for his part in the network.

Zarei was a customer of the OCG and was a regional wholesaler around Northamptonshire, whereas Asif also acted as a courier.

Detective Inspector Ian Mawdesley, from ERSOU's Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “These men played significant roles in distributing cash and cocaine across the country. Put simply, the criminal enterprise wouldn’t have worked without them.

“Between them they have moved multiple kilogrammes of drugs and hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash, and in doing so spread misery far and wide. They were key cogs in the OCG and their sentences reflect this.

“Our detectives have worked incredibly hard to bring this criminal organisation down, and intelligence gathered throughout this investigation is already helping policing colleagues across the country tackle further criminal offending. In addition to these sentences, our financial investigators will also use Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) legislation wherever possible to ensure those making money through illegal activity such as drug dealing are forced to repay their illicit gains.”