Detectives probing a major drugs supply line have made it third time unlucky for a serial Blackburn dealer.

An undercover operation uncovered how Uwais Hassanjee recruited three men in Blackburn and Darwen to be his lieutenants in a supply network in Gloucestershire.

Police say Hassanjee would source huge amounts of heroin and cocaine, and either take them to the Cheltenham and Gloucester areas himself, or rely on others to transport the drugs and sell them on his behalf.

The 32-year-old is now beginning a 10-year and seven-month jail sentence after being convicted of conspiracy to sell Class A drugs.

Lancashire Telegraph: Uwais HassanjeeUwais Hassanjee

But, this is not the first spell behind bars for the Blackburn man. The Lancashire Telegraph revealed in 2021 how he was caught by police decked out in designer gear as he tried to leave the country via Gatwick Airport.

He had been bound for Morocco and the price tags on his Gucci gear were still showing when he was cuffed.

He was jailed for four years at Preston Crown Court that time after he was linked to a drugs network, again in Gloucester, and admitted to being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.

Lancashire Telegraph: Bradley McPheeBradley McPhee

A judge noted then he had already served a four-year jail sentence, imposed in 2011, also for drug dealing.

Hassanjee's latest conviction came after detectives investigated a 'Polo' drugs line - which had 300 customers and was related to his nickname.

Police say the line was behind the supply of around five kilos of hard drugs and was run by Hassanjee with underlings Kazi Ahmed and Jamil Ahmed, both 23.

Detectives carried out surveillance as Hassanjee recruited 24-year-old Bradley McPhee, 30-year-old Daniel Brady (also known as Darby) and later 21-year-old Ciaran Winser.

Lancashire Telegraph: Ciaran WinserCiaran Winser

They were living in Blackburn and Leicester at the time, and he lured them into his operation with the promise of free accommodation at "high-end rental properties in Cheltenham".

McPhee, Brady and Winser were apprehended in September 2022, in the middle of apparent drug deals.

Further searches of their property uncovered 60.27g of crack cocaine, worth £4,500, and 153.1g of heroin, worth £3,560. Cash was counted and found to total £2,651.

Lancashire Telegraph: Daniel BradyDaniel Brady

Police found videos of the dealers with the money generated and the drugs - in one clip McPhee told friends he was “having his last spliff in Blackburn town as Bradley is going to Gloucestershire for a long, long time”.

Investigators later stopped a taxi leaving a property linked to Hassanjee in Leicester and drugs runners were found with a 248g block of heroin, and 37.7g of cocaine. An additional 26.3g of cocaine was found in 39 wraps.

Another Blackburn drug runner Leevi Grieve, 24, had been installed at a house in Cheltenham by Hassanjee and police swooped after a drugs delivery from Leicestershire and found a kilo of drugs and cash.

Detectives estimated the gang was making around £7,000 a day dealing drugs - and made hundreds of thousands for those in charge.

Lancashire Telegraph: Leevi GrieveLeevi Grieve

All involved were sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court after being convicted of drugs conspiracy offences.

  • McPhee, of Tythebarn Street, Darwen, was jailed for seven years,
  • Darby, also of Tythebarn Street, was locked up for five years,
  • Grieve, of Greenside Avenue, Blackburn, was handed four years and six months in custody
  • Winser, who lives off Sumner Street, Blackburn, was given a two-year suspended prison term with 250 hours of unpaid work.

Others from Cheltenham, Gloucester and Leicester were given jail terms ranging from eight years and three months down to suspended jail sentences.

Speaking after the case DI Matt Phillips, of Gloucestershire Police, said: "I hope these sentences will send out an extremely strong message to anyone who plans on committing similar offences."

Christine Hart, an area crown prosecutor, added: "The level of arrogance displayed in the videos and photographs is staggering.

"Far from being a ‘victimless’ way to make money, drug-related crime is corrosive – it damages not only those involved in buying and selling and their families, but the communities in which they live."