Gang hid drugs in boxes of dog treats

Stockport Express - - Front Page - JOHN SCHEERHOUT news­desk@men-news.co.uk @MENnews­desk

FOUR mem­bers of a brazen drug deal­ing gang - in­clud­ing a Heald Green man - have been jailed after they were caught smug­gling heroin worth £275,000 hid­den in­side boxes of dog treats and wash­ing pow­der.

One crook even took a pic­ture of him­self wear­ing a bala­clava and joked ‘for what I’m about to do I could get like 35!’ be­fore em­bark­ing on his last deal. An­other posed on a gold throne.

But po­lice swooped and found the drugs as they were driv­ing them north to Glas­gow.

The Manch­ester gang’s huge op­er­a­tion be­gan to un­ravel when of­fi­cers found one of their cus­tomers, who had trav­elled to Cheetham Hill from Northamp­ton, with a quar­ter of a kilo of co­caine on July 25, last year.

It prompted a de­tailed po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion which es­tab­lished how Mo­hammed Jab­bar, 28 and Mo­hammed Rafique, 40, had sup­plied the drugs.

It led of­fi­cers to un­cover the scale of the racket, other mem­bers of their gang and a pic­ture of ar­ro­gant Jab­bar sit­ting on a gold throne.

They es­tab­lished that the duo met their Glas­gow con­tact, Jeremy Cur­ran, 34, in Cheetham Hill last Au­gust.

The next day po­lice swooped as Jab­bar, Rafique and a fourth mem­ber of the gang, Jonathan Clor­ley, 25, drove their stash of drugs north from Manch­ester to­wards Glas­gow.

In their car were two boxes of dog treats and one of wash­ing pow­der stuffed with 2.5 ki­los of heroin.

When their phones were ex­am­ined, po­lice were stunned to dis­cover the gang had been us­ing mil­i­tary en­crypted mo­biles.

Mes­sages sent be­tween the phones revealed the scale and reach of their op­er­a­tion - as well as their ar­ro­gance. The mes­sages revealed Jab­bar had spo­ken with a col­league in the Mid­dle East, de­tail­ing the sup­ply of heroin to Cur­ran. Jab­bar boasted about hav­ing £150,000 worth of drugs.

Of­fi­cers found a pic­ture of Cur­ran wear­ing a bala­clava, in which he ap­peared to joke about the scam and pos­si­ble sen­tence if he was caught. Un­der his pic­ture is writ­ten: “For what I’m about to do I could get like 35! Pray to God I get away!”

After search­ing Clor­ley’s ad­dress, po­lice dis­cov­ered a ‘sig­nif­i­cant amount of pow­dered caf­feine’ which is used as a cut­ting agent in drug deals.

The four men were jailed after they pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to sup­ply co­caine and heroin at Manch­ester Crown Court.

Mo­hammed Jab­bar, of Old­ham, was sen­tenced to 15 years on Mon­day, September 4. Jeremy Cur­ran, of Glas­gow, was handed a 14-and-a-half year sen­tence. Mo­hammed Rafique, of Cheetham Hill, was jailed for 12 years.

Jonathan Clor­ley, of Out­wood Road, Heald Green, was handed a seven-year pri­son sen­tence.

After the hear­ing, In­spec­tor Lee Grif­fin, of GMP’s Se­ri­ous Crime Di­vi­sion, said: “To­day’s sen­tence should be a mes­sage to oth­ers out there who con­tinue to go against the law and sup­ply drugs, that one day you will be brought to jus­tice.”

●●Jonathan Clor­ley

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