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22nd May, 2022

Drugs gang jailed for bringing heroin and crack cocaine to Malvern

Malvern Editorial 20th Nov, 2018

A DRUGS gang which brought £150,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine to the streets of Malvern has been jailed for more than 40 years.

The sting, run by the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit alongside West Mercia Police, identified a gang of six people running drugs from Birmingham into the town as well as nearby Ledbury.

It is estimated the ‘Uzi Line’ supplied around 2kg of Class A drugs to their 133 customers and made more than £150,000 over a 12-month period.

Birmingham men Zoheeb Habib, Usman Rafiq, Atieb Osman and Mohinoor Rashid as well as Aston’s Denise Lynch and Oldbury’s Kane Payne were jailed for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

They are the first convictions in a wider regional police scheme called Operation Ballet which targets suspected County Lines drug dealers.

Police stopped 27-year-old Habib and 26-year-old Rafiq as they were travelling in a car on Worcester Road, Malvern, on June 20 last year shortly after capturing evidence of them striking a drug deal in Knapp Lane in Ledbury.

Habib’s DNA was found on a wrap of heroin recovered from the drug exchange and a search of Rafiq’s home in Cole Hall Lane, Shard End, uncovered a phone which had been used to run the Uzi Line.

Further investigations found 27-year-old Atieb and 22-year-old Mohinoor were also making regular trips from Birmingham to Malvern and Ledbury to fulfil Uzi Line orders.

They were stopped in a hire car on January 24 this year by officers who found them with several mobile phones used as drug hotlines as well as £400 in cash.

Kane, 19 and of Ivy House Road in Oldbury, and Denise, 50 and of Fentham Road in Aston, were arrested on February 22 in Wells Road, Malvern, and found to also be completing drug orders.

In June, all six were charged with conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Habib, from Wilson Road in Lozells, Osman, from Stafford Road in Handsworth, Rashid, from Albert Road in Handsworth, Payne and Lynch all admitted their involvement but Rafiq denied being part of the conspiracy.

However, a jury at Worcester Crown Court needed just an hour to deliberate before returning a guilty verdict against him last Friday and he was jailed for 12 years.

Osman was jailed for nine-and-a-half years, Habib for eight years and Rashid for six years.

Lynch and Payne were both handed jail terms of two-and-a-half years.

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