Tuesday 18 January 2022
3.4 C
Nottingham

‘Party drugs’ gang who stashed cash and drugs in a West Bridgford garage jailed

A drugs gang which targeted young people and supplied them with ‘party drugs’ has been jailed.

Brothers Jamil and Shakeel Amin spearheaded the group, who, in their twenties themselves, had a significant influence on young people in the city, who they were targeting since 2018.

They were found to have long lists of clients, with frequent phone calls and texts relating to buying the likes of cocaine, MDMA and ketamine. Two members even bragged that they had so much money they could throw fivers ‘in the bin’, and the video of 29-year-old Shakeel Amin and 22-year-old Zain Mushtaq casting the notes aside was shown during the court case involving nine people as part of a drugs conspiracy.

It was thanks to detailed analysis of the group’s phones and well-timed surveillance that led to the group being brought to justice, and Derby Crown Court heard how a single phone being seized was the catalyst for detectives to launch the investigation.

Officers found messages between the group on Zain Mushtaq’s phone which uncovered that they were involved in supplying large quantities of Class A and B drugs. This included drugs lists and further videos showing Mushtaq bragging about designer jewellery and clothing, as well handling a quantity of cash.

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.

- Advertisement -

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

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 headed to Bolton Road, West Bridgford, and watched Shakeel Amin attend the stash garage on Bolton Close, West Bridgford.

Police found a significant amount of cocaine, MDMA and 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. Officers also discovered through text messages that Rabeena Kausser, who is the cousin of the Amin brothers, 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. He 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 trial which lasted over a month took place at Derby 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, aged 31, of Aspley Park Drive, Beechdale

Saad Essa, aged 24, of Briar Road, Harrow

Kieran Neilson, aged 22, of Colchester Road, Aspley

The trio were all found guilty by a jury on Wednesday 10 November 2021 and today (20 December 2021) Amin and Essa joined the rest of the group at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing.

Amin was sentenced to 17 years in prison and Essa was sentenced to nine years.

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

Shakeel Amin, aged 29, of Grassington Road, Beechdale,  was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in custody.

Zain Mushtaq, aged 22, of Thorncliffe Road, Mapperley, who received seven years and six months.

Ben Jones, aged 26, of no fixed address, who was sentenced to seven years and six months.

Rabeena Kausser, aged 34, of Soudan Drive, The Meadows and Heather McCrory, aged 27, of Larch Gardens, Bulwell, are set to be sentenced in January after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

Shamus Gulfraz, of no fixed address, and Kieran Neilson are due to be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Constable Steven Fenyn, from Nottinghamshire Police, was the officer in the case. He said: “This investigation was lengthy and complex, but ultimately worthwhile and especially after this result at court.

“The process involved many complex operations, warrants and covert tactics to bring the entire group to justice. This also involved many collaborative efforts and we want to thank those that helped us bring this group to justice.

“A simple seizure of one phone 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 group were not only dealing a wide range of dangerous and ‘hard’ drugs, they were acting in areas where they knew they could market to a lot of young people and in particular students.

“Being in the demographic they were targeting, they thought they could use their status and their influence in that environment to blatantly advertise, encourage young people to buy and continue freely with their criminality. This is absolutely unacceptable and just shows their lack of morals and what they were willing to do when they thought they could make a ‘quick buck’.

“A number of them then pleaded not guilty and maintained this over the course of the investigation, but we were ultimately able to prove their involvement to the courts during the trial, which is thanks to the team of officers and their dedication to the operation.

“This is a firm warning to anyone involved in drug dealing. Nottinghamshire Police is absolutely determined to crack down on this type of activity 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.”

Detective Inspector Jon Kerry, who led the investigation throughout, said: “This is a fantastic result to see this group now behind bars. They were very much active and affecting young people, who are an integral demographic to Nottingham’s present and future, and during this investigation officers were relentless in their efforts to protect those affected and stop those causing harm.

“Supplying and possessing illegal drugs is not only an offence in its own right, but it is very often also indicative of wider serious and organised criminal activity, and this is why we will work tirelessly, bring in necessary resources and tactically investigate to bring offenders to justice in the most efficient way possible. We are determined to stop people like them from causing harm to our communities, when the majority of people make the county a fantastic place.

“I think it’s fair to say the investigation struck a huge blow in this organised criminality, and this is absolutely a testament to DC Fenyn.

“He, alongside my wider team, spent the best part of two years pulling together this entire case. His sheer tenacity and patience with this investigation absolutely ensured the successful arrest, charge and ultimately conviction of all nine defendants.”

 

MORE NEWS

Pictures show extent of fly-tipping at Sherwood Forest

A council wants to get tougher on fly tippers who are dumping ‘extensive’ amounts of rubbish around historic Sherwood Forest.Newark and Sherwood District Council...

Historic former mill in Notts to become homes

A former Mansfield mill plagued by anti-social behaviour, vandalism and fires will be brought back to life as a housing development.It comes after Mansfield...

Part-demolition of old Rushcliffe Leisure Centre and school expansion a step closer

A recommendation has been made that will be heard at a meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council's Economic Development and Asset Management Committee next week....