A BLACKBURN man involved in a drugs conspiracy where he supplied heroin to a Cumbrian couple has been jailed for six years.

Preston Crown Court heard that the pair made a total of 72 trips over three months to East Lancashire where Zahir Baz lived.

The drugs he provided ended up sold in Barrow-in-Furness to other users.

Baz ended up being arrested while travelling in a car near the Cumbrian town in January this year.

Drugs were found on a relative.

The 38-year-old, of Blackburn Street, Blackburn admitted two charges of conspiracy to supply heroin.

The judge passing sentence told him that he had had an operational function in the conspiracy chain.

Drugs were also discovered when police made a search of his home.

His relative, 21-year-old Shazaad Mahmood of Linden Avenue, Blackburn was given a 16-month sentence for one count of conspiracy to supply drugs.

Mahmood had taken possession of two ounces of heroin when his uncle travelled north to supply others.

They had been in a car stopped near the Barrow area in early January.

Two other defendants in the case were jailed for a total of nearly eight years, having admitted a charge of conspiracy to supply.

Darren Knowles, 39, of William Street, Barrow was given a jail term of nearly five-and-a-half years while Tracey Wharton, 41, of Moseley Street, Barrow was given two and a half years in prison.

They had also been caught in possession of drugs.

The total amount of drugs seized by the police had a street value of more than £16,000.

The court heard that the Blackburn supplier of the couple had been the missing piece of the jigsaw for the police.

When Baz was arrested earlier this year his phone revealed that he was the source of the drugs that ended up in Cumbria, said Jon Close, prosecuting.

David Lennon, for Baz, said the defendant had literally bumped into Wharton last year. She used to live in Blackburn.

He said: “She asked for regular drug supplies for her and her husband.

“He was living alone in a rundown terrace house in a high crime rate area.”

Mr Chris Evans, for Mahmood, said his client had been involved on just the one day, ending up as the temporary custodian of two ounces of heroin provided by his uncle.