Drugs pair jailed after smell of product leads police to €550k haul
Two drug dealers have been given lengthy jail sentences after the smell of their product led to police uncovering their near-£500,000 haul.
Mohammed Fazal, 27, and Zafran Ali, 19, from Rochdale, pleaded guilty to drug possession and were jailed for eight years and five-and-a-half years respectively at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court yesterday.
Greater Manchester Police said the pair's drug enterprise unravelled after neighbours began to notice the potent smell of cannabis coming from a home in Yorkshire Street in April this year.
Police investigated and found a large growth facility, where 50 cannabis plants had recently been harvested.
The plants had a wholesale value of £14,250 and a street value of £42,825. Police also found more than 330g of heroin, worth about £33,020, 110g or £5,500 of cocaine, and 121g of crack cocaine with a street value of £12,128.
Police said they were able to link the drugs to Ali, who was later arrested at his home nearby in Oswald Street.
About 4kg of heroin was found on those premises, hidden in the base of a bed.
Police said the 60% pure heroin was worth £400,000 on the street, but could be cut with other substances to potentially net more than £1 million when sold to users.
Rochdale Organised Crime Unit PC Simon Meekings said the haul would have brought an "immeasurable amount of misery" to the streets of Rochdale.
"I would like to thank the Rochdale community for their assistance in bringing the illicit operations of Zafran Ali and Mohammed Fazal to the attention of the police," he said.
"The sentences today will no doubt serve as a deterrent to anyone else who think they can make money delving into this abhorrent trade."
Detective Inspector Lee Hopwood, of Rochdale North, said the case showed law enforcement's commitment to crack down on drug crime.
"Drug dealers are a blight on our communities and the police at Rochdale are committed to identifying these individuals and bringing them to justice," he said.