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1 May 2015, 09:36
Luton's former World Boxing Champion Graham Earl is starting a seven year jail term for supplying cocaine.
Earl, who once held the WBU lightweight title, was a member of a six-strong gang operating in Hitchin and Letchworth in Herts, who were jailed for a total of 41 years last week.
The 36-year-old from Talbot Way, Luton once fought two-time world boxing champion Amir Khan in 2007 having won the WBU lightweight title the year before. He was sentenced at Cambridge crown court last Thursday.
The drugs ring was led by Christopher 'Mouse' Collins, 29, from Paynes Park, Hitchin, who admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis, as well as a proceeds of crime act offence and was jailed for 12 years.
Another boxer Amadur Rahman, 26, from Jessop Road, Stevenage was jailed for four years. 28 year old Adam Pike, of Wilbury Way,Hitchin, was sentenced to ten years; 22 year old Faizan Farooq of Sunnyside Road in Hitchin, was sentenced to five years four months, 56 year old Eustace Smith of Pascal Way in Letchworth was sentenced to three years four months.
Both Collins and Pike will be subject to a serious crime prevention order for five years upon their release from prison.
The gang were charged following a wide reaching investigation by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary's specialist Serious and Organised Crime Group. The investigation saw raids in North Herts, Stevenage and Luton between October 2013 and February 2014.
Officers had significant intelligence that Collins was instrumental in the supply of drugs in North Herts. He had a number of people who he relied on to hold the drugs at different locations including Letchworth and Hitchin. They would also move, store and supply the drugs at street level.
Detective Inspector Ian Butler from the Serious and Organised Crime Group said: "Our operation has been a huge success and has led to the disruption of a significant drug ring. Whilst Collins was the leader of this group and it is right that he received the most significant sentence, he would not have been able to supply drugs at this level without those who supported him and I am pleased the courts have recognised their role in the running of the operation.
"Collins however, was not only dealing drugs he was living off the proceeds of his illegally gained money which he spent on expensive cars and holidays. We will be looking now to identify any assets he has bought with drug money to take them from him. By removing property we are ensuring we really are making them pay."
Chief Inspector for North Herts, Julie Wheatley, said: "North Herts is a safe place to live and visit however, we have a small minority of people who are involved in crime and it is right we protect law abiding citizens from the blight of these offenders.
"Drugs have no place in our society and we will do everything in our power to disrupt and arrest offenders. The community truly are our eyes and ears when it comes to crimes such as these and I would like residents to feel empowered to be able to report any suspicions they may have. People involved in such crimes can be intimidating, but they have no place in our society and together we can ensure our communities are even safer by working together to put them in prison."
In all there are 30 people connected with the conspiracy. Some have already been sentenced and others will be dealt with sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on May 21.