Gang leader involved in movement of guns to Keighley is jailed

Keighley News: Sheraz Ali Sheraz Ali

The leader of a gang who was involved in the movement of two guns by minicab from Bradford to Keighley has been jailed for 11 years for drugs and firearms offences.

Sheraz Ali, 31, was “a driving force” in a plot to supply almost £90,000 of class A drugs.

Ali, who lived in Girlington but who was held in prison for many months, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine between November 15 and 20 last year, possession of a prohibited firearm and having a firearm and ammunition in a public place on December 14, 2012.

He was arrested in Manchester on November 20 last year shortly after police swooped on a Volkswagen Passat parked on Rydal Road in Frizinghall, Bradford. Officers seized an £89,000 drugs consignment from the boot.

Prosecutor Tom Storey told Bradford Crown Court that Ali’s fingerprints were on the drugs packaging.

While remanded in prison awaiting sentence, he arranged for two guns to be transported from Girlington to the car park at McDonald’s in Keighley.

He told the police what was happening and armed officers seized a bag from the minicab that contained a .22 rifle, with the stock and barrel shortened, a .410 double barrel shotgun and six shotgun cartridges. Mr Storey said Ali’s prints were found on the bag holding the rifle.

The court heard that Ali was a three strikes drug dealer with convictions for robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

In mitigation, his barrister Simon Myers said his client had a long-standing drug addiction and had unwittingly involved his brother Ishfaq Ali in the guns criminality.

“He has made a series of terrible errors of judgment and now he must face a lengthy sentence,” Mr Myers said.

Ishfaq Ali and two other men will be sentenced in early January for the firearms offences.

After the case, Detective Sergeant Scott Smith, of the Drug and Organised Crime Unit, said: “Sheraz Ali conspired with others to supply large quantities of class A drugs within the Bradford area. The substantial custodial sentence imposed today should serve as a warning to those engaging in this activity.

“While remanded in custody for this offence, Sheraz Ali and his criminal associates attempted to manipulate the criminal justice system by providing the opportunity for firearms and ammunition within their control to be recovered by the police.

“The thorough and determined investigation which followed ensured that all those involved were convicted. The head of an organised criminal group from Bradford, with ready access to firearms and ammunition, will now spend several years behind bars.”

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