Cross-border drug courier Sultan Mohammed jailed

Image caption,
Mohammed was caught with £80,000 in a police raid

A man who admitted masterminding a network of couriers to distribute £200,000 of heroin has been jailed for five years and three months.

Sultan Mohammed, 53, from Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, was also caught with £80,000 in a raid, after a four-month police surveillance operation.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how his network spanned the west of Scotland and the north of England.

Five others who acted as couriers for Mohammed were jailed two weeks ago.

Mohammed admitting being concerned in the supply of heroin when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow in December.

The court heard how Mohammed, who was previously jailed for drug dealing in 2002, was under surveillance by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) from November 2009.

The agency's six-month investigation revealed a network of individuals from the west coast of Scotland, West Yorkshire and Lancashire who were involved in the distribution of cocaine and heroin.

James Laird, 44, from Lesmahagow, and Daniel Keogh, 40, from Ardrossan, were each jailed for three years. Denise Briers, 39, from Alva, was sentenced to four years and four months.

Image caption,
(Clockwise from top left) Briers, Keogh, Patel, Qureshi and Laird were jailed

Mohammed Patel, 25, from Blackburn, and Toseef Qureshi, 29, from Leeds, were also jailed for three years.

Sentencing Mohammed, judge Lord Matthews told him he would have been jailed for seven years but for his guilty plea.

Speaking after sentencing, Det Ch Sup Tony Mole, from the SCDEA, said: "Sultan Mohammed was not caught in possession of any illegal substances.

"However, our investigation revealed that he played a key role in a serious organised crime group which was supplying significant amounts of class A drugs intended for distribution on Scotland's streets.

"Working with a network of criminal associates, who were moving significant amounts of illegal drugs and cash, this individual was involved in a major drug dealing conspiracy operating across Scotland and England."

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