A COVENTRY crime family has been jailed for a total of 40 years after a West Midlands Police probe busted their drugs empire.
A year-long investigation revealed network lynchpin Tavaseen Iqbal ran the drugs business – which supplied cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy – from behind bars at HMP Featherstone in Wolverhampton.
The 24-year-old, who was jailed for six years in December 2015 for firearms and drugs offences, used mobiles phones smuggled into the prison to direct cousin Saif Iqbal and receive regular updates on deals they’d struck.
Saif, 23, from Ransom Road in Foleshill, co-ordinated the supply chain and managed ‘safe houses’ from where the drugs were distributed.
Detectives launched an enquiry into the nine-strong group following concerns raised by members of the public about the men and addresses they used.
The enquiry uncovered links to Haroon Tasharat, 33, of Dunbar Avenue, Rohan Patel, 22, of Alum Close, and 23-year-old Mahmud Ali of St George’s Road – who also played parts in the conspiracy and kept the drugs business rolling around the clock.
An address in Humber Avenue was identified as the main preparation centre where Dahuri Barka, 28, along with brothers Elijah, 19, and 22-year-old Samuel Enenche-John, lived and allowed their home to be used to weigh and bag-up orders.
Seven of the men were arrested during synchronised raids on July 13 last year.
Patel was arrested later after returning from abroad, while Rohaib Iqbal − Saif Iqbal’s brother − was arrested in September after picking up the business reins following the other arrests.
All nine admitted involvement in the drugs supply chain and were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday (March 3).
Tavaseen and Saif Iqbal were both jailed for six years eight months, Patel and Ali handed five year eight month sentences, Tasharat imprisoned for four years, and Barka three years four months after they all admitted conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs.
The two Iqbals were also banned from driving for five years and have been bound by a Criminal Behaviour Order for the next eight years.
Conditions of the order include restricting them to a maximum of two mobile phones − a move designed to hinder any future drug dealing − and they are forced to provide police with details of any cars they own or drive.
Samuel and Elijah Enenche-John were handed one year and one year two months jail terms respectively for allowing their home to be used in drugs preparation, while Rohaib Iqbal was given three years four months for drugs supply.
Coventry Police Sergeant Lesley Meade said: “This was a well-established drug gang who would have caused untold misery to people across Coventry, profiting from other people’s suffering.
“Over the course of the operation we seized 1.2kg of cocaine and MDMA and nearly a kilo of cannabis, plus £12,000 in cash.
“However it’s likely they processed far more drugs and money during the running of the business.
“We seized three mobile phones from Tavaseen when his cell in HMP Featherstone was raided.
“We’re thankful to the community members who raised their concerns and sparked our investigation.
“Such information is vital in our fight against crime, we will always take it seriously and take action where we can.”