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12 April 2019, 10:33 | Updated: 12 April 2019, 10:37
A trio of drug dealers have been jailed for more than seven years after flooding the streets of East Lancashire with drugs.
Brothers Zeeshan and Adnan Khan and their cousin Hamza Khan exploited a number of vulnerable youngsters to run the drugs as part of the ‘Tigerline’ conspiracy.
Tigerline was the name given by the group to the mobile phone line they used to carry out their deals.
Between May 2017 and October 2018 Lancashire Constabulary ran an 18-month long investigation codename ‘Nepal’ during which we carried out a number of stop searches and drugs warrants where substantial amounts of Class A and B drugs and cash were recovered.
On October 4th 2018, the Khans were arrested and further drugs, namely heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis, were recovered from the home address of Zeeshan and Adnan Khan on Gordon Street in Burnley, along with the Tigerline mobile phone.
Police recovered £27k worth of heroin, £27k worth of crack cocaine and £6k cannabis (£60k in total).
On April 3rd 2019 Mohammed Hamza Khan, 22, of March Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, Zeeshan Khan, 21, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, and Adnan Khan, 22, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to supply Class B drugs.
They were sentenced at Burnley Crown Court yesterday (Thusday, April 11th).
Adnan Khan was given 15 months, Zeeshan Khan 31 months and Hamza Khan four years and three months.
Detective Sgt Martin Kennedy, of East police, said: “I welcome these significant sentences today which reflect the gravity of the offences committed by these individuals.
“My message to these gangs is if you engage in criminal activities like this then you should expect you and your vehicles to be stopped and searched by police officers. We will disrupt your day to day activities and make your lives as difficult as possible. Where necessary, we will make arrests and you could be charged.
“The criminal exploitation of teenagers and vulnerable adults has received considerable media attention in the recent past with particular focus on the risks of county lines activity.
“Organised crime groups use children and adults to transport and sell Class A drugs, primarily from urban areas into market or coastal towns or rural areas to establish new drug markets or take over existing ones.
“County lines involves human trafficking and exploitation, alongside drug supply and violent crime and is a highly lucrative business with those running the lines earning thousands of pounds per day. Those adults running the gangs are removed from front line activity and exploit youths who are at high-risk transporting and selling drugs often many miles from home. There are high levels of violence and intimidation linked to this activity.
“In addition to targeting those criminals who are causing these issues we will be safeguarding any children or adults who we believe are vulnerable to these groups.
“While I am confident we have a clear picture of those responsible for these issues, I would like to encourage the community to report any information around county lines groups to contact us on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”