Four men have been sentenced after they took part in an investigation of conspiracy to supply more than a million pounds worth of class A drugs.

The operation was part of Lancashire Police’s East Target Crime Unit, who investigated and dismantled organised crime groups, which operated the heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine supply lines, commonly referred to by their customers as the "Don", "Shark", "Rambo", and "Harry".

In October 2021, police officers found over a million pounds worth of cocaine and a large quantity of heroin inside a car garage in Nelson.

Preston Crown Court heard how police had witnessed numerous comings and goings before forcing entry to MBC Autos on Lonsdale Street in 2021.

Inside they recovered 11 one kilogram blocks of cocaine, 181 grams of heroin, and 69 grams of crack cocaine.

The amount of cocaine was estimated at a street value of around £1.1m, the heroin had a street value of £18,000, and the crack cocaine was valued at £7,000.

Prosecutor William Beardmore told the court that inside MBC Autos, police also found scales, £7,000 worth of cash, a Stanley knife, and latex gloves that were used in the operation.

Umar Hussain, 24, of Southfield Square, Nelson, Raja Asif, 20, of no fixed abode, Adrian Betney, 34, of Midland Street, Accrington, and Mohammed Saqlain, 20, of Hartington Street, Brierfield, all pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply class A drugs.

The court heard that it was Hussain and Asif, who was just 17 at the time of the offence, who controlled the operation, and Betney and Saqlain were the "street runners".

In mitigation for Saqlain, who was also 17 at the time of the offence, Mark Stuart told the court that since his involvement in 2021, he has been out of crime after his parents sent him to Pakistan, also receiving full time employment.

Defending for Betney, James Heyworth told the court that he got involved in the operation due to being addicted to drugs himself, and needing to alleviate his debts.

Mr Heyworth assured the court Betney is now clean from drugs and is working on his life to "stay out of trouble".

Judge Simon Medland KC sentenced Betney and Saqlain to a two-year custodial sentence, suspended for two years.

He sentenced Hussain to 11 years in custody and Asif to nine and a half years in custody.

Judge Medland said: "Each of you, in comparison, played a smaller part in the wider operation. But you were all each important for the supply of these drugs onto the streets.

"Some of you were very young at the time, but that does not take away from the fact these drugs ruin the streets and people's lives."