A drugs boss living in Nottingham, who clocked hundreds of miles in a bid to peddle high purity cocaine across the country, has been jailed.
An investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), supported by Nottinghamshire Police, revealed Lorenc Hoxha was putting in some mileage as the orchestrator and courier of an organised crime group based out of Nottingham.
Between February and September 2016 the 37-year-old’s gang was responsible for plotting to supply the illicit white powder throughout the UK. Their criminal dealings amounted to around £1 million.
EMSOU officers found Hoxha would substitute the word ‘cocaine’ with ‘pizza’ in text messages to associates, as he not only arranged the exchanges but often preferred to get in the car and deliver the drugs himself.
The dismantling of his substantial criminal network began one June night in 2016, when a packet of the Class A substance — weighing less than a small bag of sugar but worth up to £12,000 if sold on the street — was seized from a Ford Mondeo in Wokingham, Berkshire, June 2016. The driver, Hoxha, and his passengers, including his housemate Klinsi Rexha, were arrested.
The car had been destined for an address in Exeter and enquiries pointed to brothers-in-law Hardeepak and Ameer Singh, who were also arrested.
Another significant piece of the puzzle came two months later when Grant Deane travelled up from London and picked up a similar sized packet of cocaine — weighing just under 9oz — from Hoxha’s home. He then headed for Scotland. Deane was arrested in transit. A subsequent search of his house recovered further quantities of cocaine.
During the course of the investigation further arrests and seizures of drugs were made. A substantial quantity of cash and drugs paraphernalia were also recovered. This resulted in convictions for others for lesser offences, as well as deportations.
On Thursday 3 August 2017 at Nottingham Crown Court the five main players were sentenced, as follows:
• Lorenc Hoxha, of Mansfield Road in Carrington, Nottinghamshire: Previously pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and received a total jail term of 12 years and three months.
• Klinsi Rexha, aged 18, of the same address: Previously pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and received six years and six months in a young offenders’ institute.
• Grant Deane, aged 37, of Dunbar Street in Liverpool: Previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession with the intent to supply ketamine and received six years imprisonment in total.
• Ameer Singh, aged 28, of Maryfield Avenue in Exeter: Found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and breaching a prison order and received a 14-year jail term in total.
• Hardeepak Singh, aged 28, of The Point in Alexandra Park, Nottingham: Found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and received seven years, eight months in jail.
EMSOU Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pearson said: “Hoxha kept his criminal associates close and his supply under tight control. He insisted on doing a lot of the leg work himself, further strengthening his close-knit criminal enterprise but dirtying his hands in the process.
“The drugs seized under this operation were of a very high purity, worth tens of thousands of pounds if sold on the street. Based on our findings over an eight-month period Hoxha and his associates conspired to supply up to £1 million-worth of drugs up and down the country, leaving untold harm to our communities in their wake.
“Today’s sentencing reflects how seriously the court views drug trafficking and represents a concerted effort by police, working with a number of other agencies, to dismantle such damaging criminal networks.”