An organised crime network who flooded Cornish towns with Class A drugs transported from London have been jailed for a total of 44 years and five months (of this three years and two months is suspended).
The gang from North London made numerous trips to Cornwall between 1 September 2015 and 19 October 2016, bringing significant amounts of crack cocaine and heroin.
The drugs were delivered to local dealers who helped distribute them into various Cornish towns including Bodmin, St Austell, Camborne, Penzance and Truro.
The sentencing at Truro Crown Court this week was the culmination of Operation Cuba, a complex investigation led by the South West Regional Crime Unit (Zephyr), with the support of Devon and Cornwall Police and the Metropolitan Police.
The investigation uncovered an organised crime group led by 23-year-old Fidel Barzegar from Enfield, who controlled proceedings from London and proclaimed himself ‘The King of Cornwall’.
The rest of the gang was made up of his right-hand man Pouria Najafpour, 23, of Islington, Dwaine Hall, 23, of Tottenham, Ahmed Abdalla, 20, also of Tottenham, Anntoin Richards, 22 of Enfield, Remone Walker, 23, of Tottenham, and Jordan Walker-Brown, 20, of Tottenham, who had all previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Daniel Najafpour, 19, from Islington, admitted money laundering.
This week Barzegar was jailed for six-and-a-half years, Pouria Najafpour for six years, Hall for five years, Abdalla for five-and-a-half years, Walker for six years, Walker-Brown for three years, Richards for four-and-a-half years, and Daniel Najafpour for nine months.
During the year-long investigation police carried out a number of drug warrants, seizing over 95 grams of heroin and 125 grams of cocaine, with a combined street value of £21,000. Police also found more than £29,000 in cash and located £84,000 in bank accounts linked to the group; £60,000 was also identified in the investigation as being in control of Barzegar.
The court heard how the gang worked together to transport the drugs from London to Cornwall using hire vehicles and public transport. The vehicles were hired by periphery members of the organised crime group, street dealers and associates from both London and Cornwall.
They delivered to a number of Cornwall homes which were taken and Cornish members of the crime group helped to repackage the drugs into smaller quantities before being distributed at street level to local drug users.
Money was collected from dealers, accrued and moved back to London using various methods.
Members of the London based gang were on hand to attend Cornwall at short notice and resolve any financial disputes with customers and sub-dealers for their Cornwall based associates, using violence if necessary.
Tony Garrett, 46, of Trevelva Road, Truro, and Raquel Campbell, 26, of Polweath Close, Penzance admitted allowing their premises to be used for drug dealing, Garret was jailed for six months suspended for two years and Campbell jailed for eight months, suspended for two years.
William Counter, 20, of Trenance Place, St Austell was given a two year suspended sentence and Angela Counter, 39, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply of Class A drugs heroine and cocaine and was sentenced to four years.
Senior Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Daniel Bickford, from South West Regional Crime Unit (Zephyr), said: “Operation Cuba was a complex investigation led by the South West Regional Crime Unit (Zephyr) in conjunction with Devon and Cornwall and the Metropolitan Police which tackled an organised crime group from North London supplying significant amounts of crack cocaine and heroin into towns throughout Cornwall.
“The crime group’s leading member Fidel Barzegar, who self-proclaimed himself as ‘The King of Cornwall’, lead other members in the conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine from September 2015 until October 2016.
“Significant quantities of drugs were transported from London to Cornwall where they were repackaged into smaller amounts to be sold on the street. The money from the proceeds of drugs sales was returned to London by various means.
“The sole purpose of the group’s criminal activity was to make money and in order to achieve this they preyed on vulnerable members of the Cornish communities by “cuckooing” their homes in order to deal drugs from.
“The jailing of this group sends a strong message to those engaged in serious and organised crime in the south west that they will be pursued and brought to justice.
“Operation Cuba is an excellent example of how collaborative regional policing teams work with local policing teams for the good of local communities.”
Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News