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Ilford station drug gang jailed for a total of 28 years and banned from town centre for 10 years

PUBLISHED: 17:21 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 March 2017

Costa Coffee, Cranbrook Road.

Costa Coffee, Cranbrook Road.

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Eleven drug dealers who turned Ilford station into an open market for narcotics will collectively spend more than 28 years behind bars.

Sherali Nasiri, 20, of Benton Road, Ilford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis. He was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

Mohammed Haider, 25, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis. He was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

Sandip Singh, 29, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine. He was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Awalkhan Naserkhel, 27, of Park Avenue, Ilford, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply cocaine and cannabis. He was sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

Haroon Nikai, 21, of Park Avenue, Ilford, pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine to another. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison.

Rakeem Rajput-Siddique, 23, of The Coverdales, Ilford, pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine to another and conspiring to supply cannabis. He was sentenced to two years and four months in prison.

Masood Ahmadi, 26, of Lanterns Way, Tower Hamlets, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of a cocaine to another. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

Mohammed Darwish, 24, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine to another, offering to supply cocaine to another and conspiracy to supply cannabis. He was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Ardit Isha, 20, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply. He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

Klevis Locaj, 20, of no ixed abode, was convicted of conspiring to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

Abdul Boota, 18, of Fairlop Road, Leytonstone, was convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and cannabis. He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.

The 11 men, aged 18 to 29, were handed their punishments at Blackfriars Crown Court today, with sentences ranging from two to four-and-a-half-years for numerous offences involving heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.

The British Transport Police (BTP) launched Operation Parish in February last year, investigating increasing reports of drug dealing in and around Ilford station in Cranbrook Road.

During that operation, undercover officers infiltrated a gang selling the Class A and B drugs, predominantly from the Costa Coffee in Cranbrook Road.

After months of investigation, the 11 dealers were arrested – most in early morning raids on homes across east London on September 1.

Alongside their prison sentences, each was handed a criminal behaviour order banning them from entering Ilford town centre or associating with any of the other gang members for 10 years.

Passing the sentences Judge Henry Blacksell QC condemned the gang’s “blatant and reprehensible” system of selling drugs in public places.

“These streets do not belong to you,” he told the assembled convicts.

“You are part of the community but you chose to behave as a drain and a blight on it.

“Understandably the general public look to the courts to deal appropriately with you.”

Nine offenders pleaded guilty late last year, but Abdul Boota, 18, and Klevis Locaj, 20, were both found guilty following a three week trial last month.

Sherali Nasiri, an asylum seeker believed to lead the group, was described as “an omniscient presence” outside Ilford Station by prosecutor Martyn Bowyer.

The 21-year-old was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment, the heaviest sentence any gang member received.

During the sentencing, Judge Blacksell took exception to some solicitors arguing their clients had little or no knowledge of the extent of the drug dealing they were involved in.

“You can’t tell me that,” he interrupted.

“You couldn’t go down Ilford High Street and not know the extent of their drug dealing operation.

“The scale of what was going on was very troubling, and it could not have been any more obvious.”

It was a point Judge Blacksell returned to when summing up the case.

“Everyone in Ilford knew what was going on,” he said.

“It’s easy enough to recognise on the streets of this city, but in Ilford it was being so blatantly carried out.

“Each one of you knew very well what you were involving yourselves in.”

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