Three Men Jailed over ‘Major League’ drugs operation at Bradford Crown Court

Khawer Maqsood, 31, of Byron Street, Barkerend, and Fateh Laher, 29, of Deighton Lane, Batley, were both jailed for 14 years at Bradford Crown Court today for playing a leading role in a conspiracy to supply cocaine.

The pair also received concurrent eight-year sentences for conspiracy to supply heroin in 2017.

Laher’s cousin, Mohammed Adam Laher, 26, of Leeds Old Road, Thornbury, was handed a 64-month sentence for his role in the previous heroin conspiracy.

Maqsood’s brother Shahid Maqsood, 34, was given a 21-month suspended sentence for allowing the pair to use his house in Curzon Road, Barkerend, as a drug warehouse and cutting and packaging factory.

Prosecutor Kitty Colley said police stopped Fateh Laher and Khawer Maqsood in a car on March 2, 2018, after observing them coming and going regularly from the address in Curzon Road.

Inspecting the car, police found two blocks of cocaine, weighing 1kg, £800 cash, and unusual phones with such a high level of encryption police could not access them without their passwords.

Officers then searched the property in Curzon Road and found another 12kg of cocaine and bundles of cash worth £15,700, along with scales, cutting agents such as creatine and other paraphernalia.

Ms Colley described the house, owned by Shahid Maqsood as a “safehouse for a large quantity of import grade cocaine”, and said all the drugs and cash were in plain sight in the house, with no attempts to hide them.

The total amount of street-level cocaine, when cut with cutting agents, would have been a minimum of 49kg, worth almost £2 million.

Old cocaine packaging was also found that would have contained £1.1 million worth of the

Class A drug.

There was also a professional money counting machine, which had – since 2016 – counted 280,000 notes to a total of more than £2.5 million.

The conspiracy to supply heroin charge came on July 3, 2017, when police observed Mohammed Laher pass a bag of heroin worth £194,000 to Mohammed Faisal – who was jailed for six years last year after being stopped by police in Byron Street.

The heroin had Khawer Maqsood’s fingerprints on it, and text message conversation between him and the two Lahers at the time of the incident were of a drug-related nature.

Ms Colley said: “This was a commercial scale organisation close to the original source, and Laher and Maqsood played leading roles in the organisation.

“Mohammed Laher and Shahid Maqsood both also played significant roles in the organisation.”

In mitigation, it was argued the pair were not leaders of the drugs organisation, merely “trusted lieutenants”.

Source: T&A

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