Sunday 28 November 2021
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Nottingham

Drug dealers who stashed cash and drugs in West Bridgford garages await sentences

Drug dealers who bragged they had so much money they could throw ‘fivers in the bin’ are facing jail.

A video of 29-year-old Shakeel Amin and 22-year-old Zain Mushtaq casting the notes aside was shown as part of a court case involving nine people as part of a drugs conspiracy.

During a month-long trial, Nottingham Crown Court heard of how a single phone being seized was the catalyst for detectives to launch the investigation that lead to this group, headed by Jamil Amin, being brought to justice.

Officers found messages between the group on Zain Mushtaq’s phone which uncovered that they were involved in supplying large quantities ofclass A and B drugs.

This included an apparent drugs lists and further videos showing Mushtaq bragging about a designer jewellery and clothing, as well as passing cash notes to a passenger in the car he was with.

Officers also found photos of large wads of cash and cannabis packaged on a large mat into blue bags – which would later be recovered from properties in Bolton Close, West Bridgford. Soudan Drive, The Meadows and Grassington Road, Beechdale.

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This led officers to begin covert surveillance on Shakeel Amin and on the first day, 4 May 2019, four drug deals were witnessed and logged. Further into the investigation, in August 2019, the group were found to be renting two standalone garages in West Bridgford. It was then that enforcement began.

Zain Mushtaq was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs after attending St Ann’s Police Station for a separate matter, and following this his car was searched and a bag was seized, containing his phone as well as Cannabis, cash, his ID, bank cards and an exclusive gym pass which he held. Later the same day, plain clothed officers watched Shakeel Amin attend the stash garage on Bolton Close, West Bridgford.

Police found a significant amount of cocaine, MDMA, cannabis, in addition to 10 kilos of Boric Acid, which is a cutting agent used to bulk out cocaine. They subsequently conducted another warrant in Grassington Road, where more boric acid, as well as scales, cannabis and a rolex watch were recovered.

Further warrants were then conducted in Leroy Wallace Avenue, Radford, where a large number of dealer cards and empty deal bags were found, and further intelligence led officers to Soudan Drive, The Meadows, where even more class A and class b drugs, as well as scales, deal bags and cash were recovered. The Amin brother’s cousin, Rabeena Kausser, also had her phone seized, which showed she had allowed them to use her address to package and store drugs since 2018.

Further analysis of the conversations led officers to search for Saad Essa who was located and arrested in London on 3 October 2019, and in 2020, officers were able to finalise their year-and-a-half of hard work when they made their final arrests.

Following the enforcement action being completed, a month-long trial took place at Nottingham Crown Court after three members of the group maintained their NOT guilty pleas after being charged with conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs. These were:

Jamil Amin, 31, of Aspley Park Drive, Beechdale

Saad Essa, 24, of Briar Road, Harrow

Kieran Neilson, 22, of Colchester Road, Aspley

The trio were all found guilty by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday (10 November 2021).

The other defendants have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply controlled drugs. These are:

Shakeel Amin, 29, of Grassington Road, Beechdale

Zain Mushtaq, 22, of Thorncliffe Road, Mapperley

Ben Jones, 26, of no fixed address

Shamus Gulfraz, of no fixed address

Rabeena Kausser, 34, of Soudan Drive, The Meadows.

Heather McCrory, 27, of Larch Gardens, Bulwell.

Sentencing of the group is set to take place on 16 December 2021.

Detective Constable Steven Fenyn, from Nottinghamshire Police, has led the investigation throughout and said: “This was a lengthy but ultimately worthwhile investigation, involving many complex operations, warrants and covert tactics to bring the entire group to justice.

“One phone being seized led to an entire drugs conspiracy to be exposed, and it was important to remain patient and strike at the right moment to ensure we had the evidence we needed and the ability to bring all nine members of the group into custody.

“This is a firm warning to anyone involved in drug dealing that this is taken extremely seriously and we work proactively with a variety of different teams within the force to carry out the necessary observations, action and enforcement to ensure illegal drugs are taken off Nottinghamshire’s streets.

“The number of not guilty pleas certainly presented a challenge to us, but we were ultimately able to prove their involvement to the courts during the trial. I am very pleased with the verdict that has come out of this – it is a testament to the team and their dedication to the operation. We now await sentencing of all nine defendants.”

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