Bristol

Bristol drug gang jailed after covert police operation

Four men have been jailed for their part in a drugs network which police said allowed them to live a life of luxury hotels and fast cars.

A covert police operation uncovered the supply network run by gang leader Tariq Dad, 43, of Bristol.

He was jailed for 11 years for conspiring to supply 1kg (2.2lb) of cocaine and his brother, Mazar Dad, 41, was jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

Two other men were also jailed at Winchester Crown Court.

The case was brought after the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) carried out a major operation targeting the Dad brothers.

This involved bugging the pair and carrying out extensive video surveillance and seizing cash and drugs.

Hotel in Dubai

The court was told that a bag containing 1kg of cocaine was taken to Bristol from London by a taxi driver who believed he was delivering a supermarket bag of tea and crisps to a patient at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.

When the cocaine, which had a wholesale value of £25,000 but would have been worth three times that amount when sold on the street, was delivered, police swooped and arrested the four defendants.

Wakar Shah, 33, of Woodford Green, Essex, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years, and Garrie Jones, 36, of Enfield, north London, for seven-and-a-half years.

The aim of the police operation was to break up their drug network which had previously supplied the Bristol area with heroin and cocaine.

Image caption Shah was involved in buying the cocaine for the Dads in London

The brothers lived a life of luxury from their illegal gains, including owning luxury cars and apartments. Soca said Tariq Dad stayed in a seven star hotel in Dubai for seven nights at a cost of £15,000.

The court heard that Tariq and Mazar Dad, also from Bristol, were the main organisers behind the conspiracy and they were attempting to purchase "wholesale" quantities of cocaine from London suppliers using Shah and Jones as their intermediaries.

The four defendants ran a "sophisticated" operation involving repeatedly switching mobile phones and holding meetings in open countryside in a bid to evade police surveillance, the court was told.

But Tariq Dad, who attempted to distance himself from the "dirty work" by acting in a "hands-off advisory role", was caught making telephone calls to Shah.

Mazar Dad's role was organisational and involved making the bulk of the calls, while Shah was involved in purchasing the cocaine.

He was assisted by Jones, described as a "lieutenant", who played a "significant role" by organising couriers.

Mazar Dad and Shah pleaded guilty while Tariq Dad and Jones were found guilty following a six-week trial in November 2009.

Mazar Dad also recently pleaded guilty to supplying 21kg of heroin as part of another prosecution and was last month jailed for 12 years for that offence. His sentence for conspiring to supply cocaine will run concurrent with the other jail term.

The latest convictions came after the Dads were convicted in 1995 of possession with intent to supply heroin. Tariq Dad was jailed for 11 years and Mazar Dad received a 10-year sentence.

Police became aware of them dealing again in 2003, following their release.

Judge Andrew Barnett, sentencing, condemned what he called a "sophisticated operation".

He said: "It is an extremely serious offence. You must understand that people who get involved in the distribution of class A drugs such as cocaine rightly attract the disapproval of society and consequently a lengthy prison sentence.

"Cocaine is a scourge of this society. It is a life-changing, life-threatening and life-destroying substance."

Following the sentencing, Judge Barnett made arrangements to seize the assets of the four defendants.

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