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9 December 2010, 10:45
Three people from Luton were imprisoned after appearing before Luton Crown Court on Tuesday, December 7 for their part in a drug dealing operation.
Natasha Hobbs, 29 years, of Marlow Avenue, Luton had been charged with being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and being concerned in the supply of heroin. She pleaded guilty at the beginning of a trial which was due to start on Monday, December 6. She was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment.
Amanda Hucklesby, 40 years of Old Bedford Road, Luton, had also been charged with the same offences and again pleaded guilty at the commencement of the trial. She was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment.
Hucklesby was also imprisoned to a further 15 months in connection with a separate charge of possession with intent to supply a class A drug for which she had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. She had previously been charged with this offence after a Bedfordshire Police test purchase operation.
Afzal Ahmad, 19 years of Chandos Road, Luton, had been charged with possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply heroin. He also pleaded guilty on Monday and was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment in a Young Offenders Institute.
A further man, Shahid Rafiq, 19 years, of Home Close, Luton has also been charged with possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply heroin. He pleaded guilty at a previous hearing and will reappear at Luton Crown Court at a later date.
The charges had been made after the four were stopped by police in Leagrave High Street, Luton on August 27, 2009 and officers found cash, numerous mobile telephones and an amount of crack cocaine in deal bags in the car they were travelling in.
During the search of a property in Chandos Road a further amount of crack cocaine and heroin was found.
Speaking after the convictions, the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Constable Amy Kelly, said: “It is believed that Hobbs was at the higher end of this operation and was acting as a manager. She had kept herself as best she could out of the chain, but due to her driving the vehicle on the day and further evidence painstakingly collected by a team of officers, she was deemed an equal if not bigger part in this than the others and this sentencing reflects this."
She continued: “Hobbs had no previous criminal history and has a young family which she will not be able to be with for some time. Due to the serious nature and her involvement in the case she has received a custodial sentence and this shows that no matter what age, gender, race or personal circumstance you are in, if you become involved in illegal drugs activity, you will be punished heavily. People need to be aware of the serious prison sentences these offences carry and that no matter who you are or what you are, you will not escape the law.”