Saturday 25 May 2024
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Nottingham

Nottingham drugs gang jailed for 82 years combined

A group who flooded Nottingham with cocaine, cannabis and other drugs have been jailed for 82 years between them.

The Crimes

The gang used four distinct mobile phone lines, two of which were known as ‘The SID drug line’ and ‘The Supa drug line’, to advertise, take orders for, and sell Class A and B drugs.

Gang leader Aquil Choudry, as well as Raja Ahmed and Raja Khan, controlled the drug lines at different points between July 2019 and December 2021.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine, cannabis, MDMA, ecstasy tablets, ketamine and prescription medication were sold by the group during this period.

Multiple kilos of the cannabis sold by the group were purchased on their behalf by drug supplier Majid Hussain, who was one of ten people implicated in the conspiracy by police.

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Officers also uncovered evidence that Hussain was importing cannabis directly from California.

Police investigation

The first breakthrough in the Nottinghamshire Police investigation happened in October 2020 when a car being driven by drug dealer Amir Adil was stopped in Nottingham city centre.

Class A and B drugs were seized from inside, as was a phone that had regular patterns of contact with two of the drug lines that would later be connected to Choudry and Ahmed.

A car containing Ahmed was then stopped by the police on the M1 between Bradford and Nottingham in January 2021, in which two of the drug line phones were seized for the first time.

Either the drug lines themselves or phones containing messages relating to drug activity would go on to be seized by the police during various operations over the following months.

The next breakthrough in the case took place in June 2021, when intelligence led officers to a hotel in Radford where Raja Khan was arrested after large quantities of high-purity MDMA, cocaine and cash were discovered in his room.

CCTV taken from the hotel in the days before Khan was detained also implicated two more of the group’s dealers – Wajahat Latif and Shujaat Latif – who were later arrested as part of the conspiracy too.

As a direct result of this relentless police activity, Choudry was forced to go more hands-on and take control of the drug line phones for himself from Raja Ahmed and Raja Khan.

This ultimately led to the gang leader implicating himself in September 2021 when officers tracked a car he’d hired to the Carlton area – where a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of Class A and B drugs that he’d tried to hide within magnetic boxes concealed underneath the car.

Unbeknownst to Choudry, police discovered a second magnetic box under his vehicle containing more drugs, so they set up a plan to catch the drug dealer red-handed after returning the hire car.

Knowing Choudry would try to retrieve the drugs, the hire car was carefully positioned near to CCTV cameras and the 31-year-old was contacted to come and collect his belongings that he’d left in the vehicle.

He then returned to the car, where the cameras recorded him reaching under the car to pull out the box – providing damning evidence that he knew the drugs had been hidden there.

The conspiracy unravelled after that, with messages on the seized phones implicating ten defendants in total.

Choudry, Ahmed, Raja Khan, Roshaan Khan, and Amir Adil all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

Majid Hussain, Wajahat Latif, and Shujaat Latif all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs but denied the charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

The Crown Court Trial

Following an eight-week trial, on 3 May 2024, the trio were all found guilty of the charge.

All eight defendants appeared before Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday (9 May), where they were sentenced to a combined 82 years in prison.

  • Aquil Choudry, 31, of Holborn Avenue, Sneinton, was sentenced to ten years and ten months in prison
  • Raja Ahmed, 31, of Colwick Road, Sneinton, was jailed for ten years and ten months
  • Raja Khan, 29, of Dale View Road, Bakersfield, was sentenced to nine years and eight months
  • Majid Hussain, 42, of Rifle Street, Radford, was jailed for 14 years
  • Amir Adil, 30, of Sedgley Avenue, Sneinton, was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison
  • Roshaan Khan, 25, of Dale View Road, Bakersfield, received a ten year prison sentence
  • Wajahat Latif, 27, of Hillcrest View, Carlton, was jailed for 12 years and six months
  • Shujaat Latif, 25, of Hillcrest View, Carlton, received a prison sentence of nine years and six months

Screenshot 2024 05 10 at 09.16.13

Two more members of the group – Kelly Smith, 42, and Aaron Askham, 26 – also both previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, with Smith additionally admitting to a charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Smith, of Booth Street, Derby, and Askham, of Sprydon Walk, Clifton, will both be sentenced at a later date.

“Fantastic result”

Detective Constable Steve Fenyn, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: “This is a fantastic result to see this group behind bars.

“It has been a lengthy and challenging investigation, primarily due to the complex nature of the telephone evidence that was presented.

“I hope that the sentences passed today are a warning to anyone involved in drug dealing.

“Nottinghamshire Police is determined to crack down on criminal gangs and we work proactively with a variety of different teams within force to carry out necessary observations, action and enforcement to ensure illegal drugs are taken off our streets.

“This isn’t the first time the group behind the running of the SID drug line has been prosecuted. The organised crime groups that run such drug lines often reactivate the numbers in different phones when police seize them, or they change the phone number for the drug line.

“I appeal to the public for your continued assistance in combating such drug lines. If you are aware of the current phone number for the SID line, or any other drug line, please let us know.”

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