A group of men from East Lancashire sold class A drugs totalling £30,000 in just five months last year.

Preston Crown Court heard how from February to June 2023, five men had been dealing class A drugs such as crack cocaine and diamorphine in the Blackburn with Darwen area.

Prosecutor Tim Ashmore told the court that Lancashire Police arrested Adile Khalil on Monday, February 20, 2023, at his home address.

When the police searched his property they found £4,925 in cash and a samurai sword.

Lancashire Telegraph: Adile KhalilAdile Khalil (Image: Lancashire Police)

They then searched Khalil's brother's house on Blackburn Road, belonging to Adnan Khalil, and found 102g of crack cocaine, 4.4g of cocaine and 37.5g or heroin belonging to the conspiracy.

On Wednesday, March 15, Joshua Grant was arrested at his address in relation to another matter, but police found 59 wraps of crack cocaine, 27 wraps of diamorphine and eight wraps of cocaine on his person, totalling approximately £1,000.

Lancashire Telegraph: Joshua GrantJoshua Grant (Image: Lancashire Police)

The court heard messages were recovered from Kafeil Hussain to Khalil describing how Hussain would ensure he collected the money from Grant, one of the street dealers in the conspiracy.

Evidence from Grant was also collected showing how between March and May, he had taken a taxi from his address in Darwen to Hussain's address in Haslingden at least 44 times.

Lancashire Telegraph: Kafeil HussainKafeil Hussain (Image: Lancashire Police)

The court heard Khalil also collected money for the conspiracy, and evidence showed a video of him holding a machete knife, ensuring the cash would be collected.

Khalil was arrested at his address on Wednesday, June 14, where police found two phones and three watches belonging to the defendant, including a Rolex and Armani. 

Ramzan Al-Hassan was also arrested in June after police found drugs in the roof of his property, with 51 wraps of diamorphine, scales and a Nokia phone.

Lancashire Telegraph: Ramzan Al-HassanRamzan Al-Hassan (Image: Lancashire Police)

Fingerprints from Mark Boyle, who was also a street runner in the operation, were found on some of the packaging retrieved from Al-Hassan's address.

Al-Hassan’s fingerprints were also found on drugs packaging at that location.

Hussain, 31, of Manchester Road, Haslingden, Al-Hassan, 21, of Midsummer Street, Blackburn, Khalil, 32, of Lisbon Drive, Darwen, Grant, of 20, Richmond Park, Darwen, and Boyle, 49, of Preston New Road, Blackburn, all pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply class A drugs.

Lancashire Telegraph: Substances that were found by policeSubstances that were found by police (Image: Lancashire Police)

Khalil has two previous offences for class A drugs, Hussain has eight convictions for 16 previous offences, some concerning class A and B drugs, Boyle has nine convictions for 24 previous offences, none concerning drugs, and Grant is of previous good character.

Defending Grant, Daniel Harman reminded the court that the defendant was of previous good character, and his age should be a factor in his sentencing as he was only 19 years old at the time of offending.

Mitigating for Boyle, Tom Challinor told the court that the defendant only participated in the conspiracy due to threats from the group to alleviate debts from his own drug addiction, and was involved on only two occasions. 

Recorder Tania Griffiths sentenced to Hussain to eight years, six months and 14 days in custody, Al-Hassan to two years and nine months, Khalil to five years, one month and five days, Grant to one year, seven months, one week and a day, and Boyle to 18 months, suspended for two years.

She said: "This is a serious case of offending as your conspiracy totalled £30,000 worth of drugs.

"These drugs destroy communities. Some of you are of previous good character, but you cannot pretend that you did not know what you were doing in this conspiracy."

Lancashire Telegraph: Cash that was found by policeCash that was found by police (Image: Lancashire Police)

Following the sentencing, Det Sgt Stu Peall, of the East Exploitation Team, said: “These individuals each played their own individual and crucial roles in what was an organised criminal conspiracy to sell Class A Drugs.

"I welcome the sentences handed down by the court.

"This pro-active work comes under Operation Warrior, which is our response to tackling serious and organised crime in Lancashire and delivering on Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden's Fighting Crime Plan priority of disrupting and dismantling organised crime."

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, added: "It's important that we send a clear message to criminals that police are coming to get you, and this is another great example of the work officers do, every single day, to disrupt and dismantle organised crime gangs and put them behind bars.

"It's what Op Warrior is all about, taking the fight to criminals that blight our communities, delivering on my Fighting Crime Plan and seeing even more arrests, more asset seizures and more drugs off our streets. Results like this, which will directly make Lancashire safer, are what the public want to see and deliver on a top priority in my Fighting Crime Plan.

"I would encourage anyone to report suspicious activity, or any information that might help in bringing criminals to justice. We continue to go after more and make sure those involved in organised crime feel the full force of the law and have their day in court."