Ten drug dealers have been sentenced to more than 94 years in prison for trafficking Class A drugs with a street value of up to £1.4million from Sheffield into Nottinghamshire.
Two of the men were found guilty following a trial, while the others pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Welcoming the sentence at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, July 19, Detective Inspector Andy Jones of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: "This investigation has taken a long time and a lot of hard work to reach this successful conclusion.
"Most of the people involved are career criminals who tried very hard to avoid detection and cover their tracks. Their sentences reflect the key roles they played in bringing large quantities of Class A drugs into the East Midlands."
Brothers Mark and Paul Day, 46 and 51, led the organised crime group based in Sutton-in-Ashfield, while Liban Abdullah, 29, orchestrated the drug runs from Sheffield, despite the fact he was already in prison.
Mark, who lived on Hollyberry Croft, was jailed for 10 years and nine months.
Paul, of Lindley Avenue, was jailed for 11 years and four months.
After failing to appear at court, Abdullah, formerly of Holme Lane, Sheffield, was sentenced in his absence to 14 years in prison. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
As part of their ‘business’ the couriers would use taxis to get between meet-ups and stashed their drugs along rural nature trails.
Three key events in 2016 led to police eventually forcing the collapse of the conspiracy.
On June 20, Abdullah arranged for Paul Day to meet Sheffield courier Waqas Bashir in South Normanton. The exchange took place in a McDonald's car park, where Day handed over payment for two kilograms of heroin and cutting agent.
Observing the transaction was Josiah Wiggan, 30, boss of the Sheffield arm of the operation outside of prison and fellow organiser and driver Christopher Williams, while Mark Day was giving orders over the phone.
Despite the pre-planning and monitoring efforts of the two groups, things didn’t go to plan for them.
A chase ensued as police moved in and car footage caught Paul Day throwing his recently purchased product out of the window as he raced through country roads.
During the chase, Mark was seen receiving a package from Paul and then collecting others which had been dumped in the course of the pursuit.
The drugs thrown between vehicles on had an estimated street value of £25,000-£33,000 and a further £27,000 in cash was seized Bashir’s car.
Drugs found at a nature trail in Nottinghamshire forensically linked Paul Day to the stash. Police also found cutting agents paracetamol and caffeine in his storage container.
Undeterred, the groups continued the operation and over the next two months two more exchanges took place.
Now on bail, Paul was instructing a courier, Matthew Bentley, to make the exchanges. After a short meet with Sheffield-based taxi driver Mohammed Nazir, they exchanged white plastic carrier bags.
The final exchange took place on November 17 before arrests were made and houses were raided.
Heroin, cocaine, scales, money and dealer bags were seized from street dealer Bernard McCann’s home in Beechwood Close, Sutton-in-Ashfield. The 51-year-old was jailed for nine years.
Bentley, 45, of Dalestorth Street in Sutton-in-Ashfield, was given seven years and six months for his involvement.
Wiggan, of Buckenham Street in Sheffield, was jailed for 11 years and 10 months.
Wiggan’s right-hand man Christopher Williams, of Daresbury Place, Sheffield, was jailed for eight years and six months.
Sheffield-based courier Waqas Bashir, 26, of Grimesthorpe, was sentenced to seven years and two months.
Taxi driver Mohammed Hader Nazir, 27, of Scott Road, Sheffield, was handed an eight year sentence.
Arriving in the UK from Greece in July 2016, Simon Garbutt was an associate of the brothers. The 61-year-old, of Great North Road, Newark, helped stash the drugs and also had a storage unit full of cutting agent. He was sentenced to six years and eight months.