Two men jailed for conspiracy to supply heroin

06/02/2012

A large delivery of heroin from Liverpool to Luton was intercepted by police who had been keeping watch on a house in Holkham Close, Luton.

The police swooped when the holdall containing 18 half kilo packages of the Class A drug was handed over outside the house on 08 October last year, Luton Crown Court heard on Friday, 03 February 2012.

On examination it transpired that the heroin was of very poor quality and low purity but would still have been worth between £171,000 and £225,000 at wholesale price, said Dinah Walters, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"The inference from the scientific evidence is that this was very badly processed heroin," she said.

In the dock were 31 year old James Poland from Water Street, Thornton, Merseyside and Imtiaz Haider, 36 from Holkham Close, Luton.

They both pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin and were each jailed for six years.

Miss Walters said officers from the Serious Organised Crime unit were keeping surveillance on the Lewsey Farm property and videoing the activity there.

At about 11.15 am Haider arrived in a VW Golf and parked on the drive way. Fifteen minutes later Poland arrived driving a Transit van and he handed a holdall to Haider.

The bag contained 8.8 kilos of packaged powder, though the heroin content was about 630 grammes.

"At that point officers moved in to arrest them. Poland tried to drive off but hit one of the surveillance vehicles and an officer managed to smash his windscreen and arrest him. He said he thought the bag contained money.

"Haider also tried to escape on foot but was caught and struggled violently and had to be subdued by a number of officers. He said he thought he had been collecting five kilos of 'Purple Haze' skunk," said the prosecutor.

He later told police he had received a phone call that morning to collect the bag and take it to a service station in Leagrave Road, Luton, where it would be collected.

Damian Nolan, defending Poland said he had been paid £500 and would have received a further £1,500 if the delivery had been successful.

He said the former taxi driver had been in a settled relationship, had two young children and running a business clearing out pubs and social clubs.

Alex Radley for Haider said he had spent many years as a carer for his mother and father, but he hit 'rock bottom' in 2009 when his father died.

His mother was also diagnosed with a brain tumour, his long standing partner left him and as a result he returned to his former use of heroin.

"He was very depressed and angry. He got into debt with his drug dealer, which is how this offence came to be committed," said Mr Radley.

Judge Marie Catterson said; "It is absolutely clear that this offence cannot be dealt with in any other way than a substantial sentence of custody."

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