by Jay Unger
Twelve people have been jailed this week for a total of 58 years, after their part in a multi-million pound drug supply operation that brought cocaine and heroin to the streets of Leeds.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Griffin, from Leeds District CID, said: ‘‘The individuals convicted have been involved in the organized and systematic supply of class A drugs on a large scale across the city.
‘‘A number of those who are starting significant jail terms believed they were untouchable and revelled in the reputation they culminated through their criminality.”
Following their sentencing yesterday at Leeds crown court, all 14 men were arrested from properties across the city in March of last year as part of a major police operation.
Detectives began their covert operation 12 months ago after establishing a crime group in North Leeds had been operating a so-called ‘ring and bring’ service to supply cocaine and other drugs across the city.
During the course of the investigation officers uncovered five ‘dealer lines’ run by the group.
These are phone lines, which are usually linked to pay-as-you-go mobile phones, which drugs users either call or text and then wait for dealers to make arrangements for drugs to be delivered to a set location.
Detectives traced over 80,0000 contacts – either through calls or text messages – to purchase drugs and believe over £3 million were generated by the group in under a year.
During the operation, assets worth £100,000 were seized with cash totalling £25,000 also being uncovered.
Searches of a number of linked properties across Leeds also saw officers discover varying amounts of drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis.
The estimated street value of all the drugs seized is considered to be in excess of £70,000.
Det. Griffin said: ‘‘This was an outstanding enquiry by dedicated and professional officers who have shown determination, patience and innovation. This highlights that even the most problematic criminals can be caught and convicted.
‘‘We are committed to tackling those involved in the supply of drugs and the removal of this crime group and the harmful drugs they supplied makes communities across Leeds safer.’’
Twelve members of the gang were sentenced are:
- Shea Varley, 27, of Miles Hill Street, Leeds, jailed for nine years.
- Aiden Gidman, 24, of Borrowdale Close, Leeds, jailed for eight years.
- Daniel Franks, 24, of Miles Hill Avenue, Leeds, jailed for eight years.
- Richard Varley, 23, of Monkswood Close, Leeds, jailed for six years.
- Ashton Sutton-Barrow, 23, of Royal Park Road, Leeds, jailed for six years.
- Kevin Steele, 27, of Potternewton Avenue, Leeds was jailed for four years, eight months.
- Gurjodha Rathore, 25, of Scott Hall Road, Leeds- jailed for four years, four months.
- Randeep Singh Mudhar, 27, of Cambrian Street, Leeds- jailed for four years.
- Ralph Steele, 26. of Harehills Park Avenue, Leeds – jailed for three years.
- Preetpal Singh Mallli (24) of Stainburn Gardens, Leeds- jailed for two years, four months.
- Gurdas Rathore, 22, of Stainbeck Lane, Leeds- jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years, and given 150 hours unpaid work.
- Gurmal Singh, 22, of Alma House, Brentford London- jailed 12 months, suspended for 12 months, and given 250 hours unpaid work
Shaun Varley, 24, of Miles Hill Street, Leeds and Alex Simpson, 21, of Potternewton Avenue, Leeds will be sentenced at a later date