A smiling dealer who ran a £150,000 drugs hotline serving around 50 clients a day has been jailed.
Kamran Rashid, 30, orchestrated a huge narcotics network which saw hundreds of thousands of pounds-worth of Class A drugs supplied across county borders.
The drug lord, from The Broadway in Aston, recruited drug runners to help deliver crack cocaine and heroin from Birmingham to Hereford in what was known as the ‘P Line’ network.
Evidence seized by West Midlands Police and West Mercia Police revealed drugs valued at around £150,000 were supplied by Rashid’s drug hotline between July 2017 and February this year.
Armed police order suspected drug dealers to lie on the floor in dramatic Belgrave Middleway swoop
Rashid spent more than £3,000 on hire cars to frequently travel between Birmingham and Hereford on suspected drug drops.
He was intercepted at Grandstand Road, Hereford, in August where he was arrested.
No drugs were found in the car but £1,500 in cash and a phone used to run the P Line – which was contacting around 50 customers a day – was seized.
He was bailed to give detectives time to gather more evidence.
But, just eight hours after his release, brazen Rashid messaged his P Line clients warning: “Brand new phone, old number gone, pls don’t text it police have it”.
In a desperate bid to distance himself from the supply chain, he recruited a couple from Nelson Road, Aston, to carry out the cross-border drug runs for him.
But Rashid continued to control the main dealer phone, directing Talat Mahmood, 40, and Lisa Fayers, 41, to the addresses of Class A clients.
They were stopped by police in October in a vehicle on Belmont Road, Hereford.
The pair were found in possession of £1,300 in cash and a phone which was in repeated contact with Rashid’s Aston-based supply hotline.
Determined to keep the drugs empire running, Rashid turned to Hayley Williams, 46, from Grandstand Road in Hereford.
But she, along with Rashid and Fayers, were arrested in June and charged with conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Mahmood was arrested 13 days later – just moments after walking from the prison gates of HMP Birmingham having completed a sentence for another matter.
Rashid has now been jailed – despite police never finding him in possession of any drugs.
On Wednesday, December 5 Rashid was sentenced to an 11-and-a-half year jail term.
Drug runners Mahmood and Fayers were also sentenced for their roles in the drugs gang.
They were jailed for four years and ten months and three years and nine months respectively at Worcester Crown Court.
Williams was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and a drug rehabilitation order for playing a lesser role in the supply chain.
Det Insp Julie Woods is leading Operation Ballet which has netted 75 suspected drug dealers believed to be involved in a total of ten County Lines operating out of the West Midlands and London.
She said: “This case should act as a warning to anyone who thinks they can run a drug supply line but avoid detection by keeping their distance from the drugs and not getting their hands dirty.
“We have a multitude of tactical assets at our disposal to gather evidence and together with forensic phone analysis we can put very compelling cases before the courts.
“Rashid and his associates all recognised that and pleaded guilty – and we’re confident that many more people involved in County Lines from the West Midlands will very shortly be following them into prison.”
Det Insp Woods, added: “It’s clear Rashid was making large sums of money from the P Line: when he was arrested we found a new pair of Guiseppe trainers in the boot together with a receipt showing he’d paid £520 in cash.
“And we found he’d paid £3,300 on hire cars to deliver the drugs.
“Our evidence also showed that he used threats to intimidate the others who were doing the drug running on his behalf.
“Rashid is a calculating, dangerous man who was happy to make money out of the suffering of others.