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Twenty two members of Leicestershire drug gang who ploughed £20m-worth drugs into Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and West Midlands jailed for over 200 years




Twenty two members of a gang who ploughed more than £20m-worth of drugs around the country over a year have been jailed for more than 200 years.

Major enforcement across eight counties in February 2019 brought the illicit operation — with supply routes in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the West Midlands — to an abrupt end.

Eleven people were sentenced for their involvement at Leicester Crown Court last week, with the drugs operation having been based out of Leicestershire.

Leicestershire Police. (51164186)
Leicestershire Police. (51164186)

They follow 11 others, who were sentenced previously, but can only be reported on now following the lifting of reporting restrictions.

In 2017, an investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) was launched.

In the October, 111kg of amphetamine was seized by Nottinghamshire Police during a raid at a house in Radford, which revealed links to this operation.

Leicestershire Police. (51164178)
Leicestershire Police. (51164178)

Later that month, 20kg of cannabis was seized from boxes in a car in Derby. This led to 189kg of the anabolic steroid hexadrone being discovered in heat-sealed bags stuffed in six suitcases at a storage unit in the city.

Two months later, 35kg of cocaine — some of which had been branded with K Crown stamps — was seized from a van north of Stoke-on-Trent. More cocaine was recovered from a house in Willenhall, Wolverhampton.

At the same site, 100kg of ketamine kept in boxes marked as shoes was recovered.

The investigation found the organised crime group handled more than a tonne of Class A and B drugs (500kg of cocaine and 500kg of amphetamines, cannabis, hexadrone and ketamine) throughout 2017.

Clockwise, left to right: Claire Smallman transporting drugs to and from the gang’s storage unit in Derbyshire; a suitcase filled with hexadrone seized from a storage unit; drugs seized from the house in Radford; drugs stored in a freezer in Radford; ketamine stored in shoe boxes at a house in the West Midlands; cocaine embossed with the K Crown stamp; and blocks of cocaine seized from a van.
Clockwise, left to right: Claire Smallman transporting drugs to and from the gang’s storage unit in Derbyshire; a suitcase filled with hexadrone seized from a storage unit; drugs seized from the house in Radford; drugs stored in a freezer in Radford; ketamine stored in shoe boxes at a house in the West Midlands; cocaine embossed with the K Crown stamp; and blocks of cocaine seized from a van.

The importation and distribution of the drugs was arranged by Ardeep Takhar from his semi-detached home in Leicester. Jasbir Sangha and Daljit Pamma managed its transportation to Lawinder Bahia’s home in Willenhall, which had a specially-adapted annex off the entrance for the drugs storage.

They also arranged delivery to a key client, namely Sukjinder Sandhu in Derbyshire, who worked with and Adam Dooley, also in Derbyshire, David Moth in Nottinghamshire and Marc Unsted, who was based in the West Midlands, to prepare and distribute large quantities of drugs across the country.

Sandhu counted on runners Claire Smallman, Zahid Quayum and Jamie Brear. Moth was assisted by Robert Buttar, Laurence Smith and self-proclaimed chemist Mark Thone.

The gang also had links to a storage site in Slough and the EMSOU team found further reach into other towns and cities across the country, including Leeds, London, Middlesbrough and March in Cambridgeshire, as well as up to Edinburgh.

Inquiries made by EMSOU also led to the recovery of a separate six-year conspiracy between Unsted and Dooley to supply steroids, between 2013 and 2019.

Detective Inspector Harry Rai, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This gang had a profitable enterprise going, bringing a tonne of dangerous drugs into the UK. They showed no care for the incredible damage this sort of criminality causes, rather used it to line their own pockets — on the face of it, benefitting by tens of millions of pounds — and bolster their reputation.

“At the top of the tree was Ardeep Takhar, who kept his hands relatively clean by controlling the whole illicit operation from afar in Leicester. He arranged for Lawinder Bahia, Jasbir Sangha and Daljit Pamma to do most of the leg work, receiving the secret shipments as they were brought into the country and then transporting it between counties, over hundreds of miles.

“Sukjinder Sandhu and David Moth commanded their own gangs and, in partnership with Adam Dooley and Marc Unsted, went on to flood countless communities with millions of pounds-worth of deadly drugs.

“This investigation has been far-reaching not only with the seizure of a massive amount of controlled drugs destined for all corners of the country, but also in that it has attracted significant sentences for those responsible. All this goes a long way to preventing further damage to our communities.

“The war against drugs may be long-fought, but this is another battle won by law enforcement in our quest to keep harmful substances, and the violence they perpetuate, off our streets.”

Efforts to identify and seize money or other assets gained from the crimes are underway under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Sukjinder Singh Sandhu, 38, formerly of Radcliffe Drive, Derby, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and two counts of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. He was jailed for 22 years and six months.

David Moth, 47, formerly of Hogan Gardens, Nottingham, admitted conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs. He was jailed for 14 years.

Marc Edward Unsted, 42, formerly of Cheslyn Way, Walsall, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs following a trial in April. He previously pleaded guilty to offering to supply Class B drugs and two counts of conspiracy to supply Class C drugs. He was jailed for 20 years.

Adam Ellis Dooley, 42, formerly of Wilsthorpe Road, Breaston, Derbyshire, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs

after a trial in April. He previously admitted conspiracy to fraudulently evade the prohibition on the importation of goods, conspiracy to produce Class C drugs and conspiracy to supply Class C drugs. He was jailed for 20 years.

Claire Louise Smallman, 45, formerly of Arthur Street, Derby, previously admitted conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Robert Buttar, 38, formerly of Holborn View, Codnor, Derbyshire, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs. He was given 11 years behind bars.

Mark Anthony Thone, 57, formerly of Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, pleaded guilty during trial to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. He was jailed for ten years and six months.

Laurence James Smith, 32, formerly of York Avenue, Sandiacre, Derbyshire, previously admitted conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. He was imprisoned for three years and one month.

Baljit Singh Kandola, 44, formerly of Markmanor Avenue, London, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. He was jailed for two years and six months.

Daniel Henry, 44, formerly of Jennison Street in Mansfield, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, as well as 160 hours of unpaid work.

Lee Vaughan, 36, formerly of Kenilworth Road, Balby, Doncaster, previously admitted being concerned in the production of a Class B drugs by another. He was handed two years in prison, suspended for two years, and 150 hours of unpaid work.

The following people were sentenced in August.

Pavendeep Dosanjh, 43, formerly of Donington Drive, Derby, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, and was given a two-year suspended sentence, as well as 160 hours of unpaid work.

Furhan Mahmood, 43, formerly of Halbutt Street, Dagenham, previously admitted conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and 160 hours of unpaid work.

Aiste Balasaityte, 37, formally of Cheslyn Way, Walsall, was found guilty of two counts of converting criminal property. In July, she was given a two-year suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.

The following people were sentenced at the end of 2019 into 2020 following a trial.

Ardeep Takhar, 45, formerly of Staveley Road, Leicester, conspired to import and supply Class A and B drugs, and was sentenced to

29 years in prison.

Lawinder Bahia, 52, formerly of Shoreham Close, Willenhall, conspired to import and supply Class A and B drugs, and was handed 23 years behind bars.

Jasbir Sangha, 40, formerly of Narborough Road South, Leicester, conspired to import Class A and B drugs and conspired to

supply Class A. He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

Daljit Singh Pamma, 50, and formerly of Rosemead Drive, Oadby, Leicester, was found guilty of conspiracy to import and supply Class A and Class B drugs. He was jailed for 12 years.

Jamie Clifford Brear, 35, formerly of Border Crescent, Derby, previously admitted conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs and was sentenced to six years and eight months in jail.

Zahid Quayum, 53, formerly of Porter Road, Derby, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

David Gunn, 55, formerly of Gainsford Crescent, Nottingham, previously admitted conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and was handed three years and three months behind bars.

Kelly Bates, 39, formerly of Besecar Avenue, Gedling, previously pleaded guilty to allowing her premises to be used for Class A drugs

supply. She was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for 24 months.



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