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30 April 2015, 12:00 | Updated: 30 April 2015, 12:12
Twelve members of a drugs gang, who trafficked half a million pounds worth of cocaine and heroin into Southampton, have been jailed for a combined 46 years.
A court heard they were running drugs down to the city as often as twice a day. The longest sentence given out was ten years to ringleader Alizan Bockhari, 31, from Feltham (pictured).
Operation Mohican saw a team of police officers from a number of units across the force including CID, the Force Support Unit, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, TPT and the Dog Support Unit, as well as officers from the Metropolitan Police Service, targeting the ‘AZ’ drug network. This was a network of transient class A drug dealers operating from the Southall and Feltham area of London.
The extensive investigation, spanning over a year and a half, encapsulated Operation Anise, which was the covert part of the investigation, using undercover police officers. The officers were sent onto the streets of Southampton to purchase drugs from organised crime groups operating in the area. The AZ network were prolific at the time, and the first covert officer, who had never been to Southampton before, was able to buy drugs from them within an hour and a half.
As a result of this operation a number of people were charged in relation to their involvement with the conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. This includes the daily running and management of the network between 1 January 2013 and 31 January 2014.
One man, Wesley Walters, was also found with a stun-gun disguised as a mobile phone at his Southampton home.
Detective Constable Kat Wisdom, said:
“This operation has identified that, when operating at its peak, there were daily, if not twice daily suspected drug runs into the city. Despite previous arrests of members of the network over the years, the AZ members managed to maintain their presence in Southampton. The aim of Operation Mohican was to dismantle the network from the top to the bottom.
“The investigation targeted people operating at all levels within the network, including runners, couriers, the banker and heads of the network. These people have been responsible for causing misery to members of the Southampton community over many years. They have used violence towards, exploited and persistently targeted vulnerable people.
“Since the Operation Anise part of the operation was launched in September 2013, the network has really struggled to continue operating in Southampton and now no longer exists in the city.
“We are working closely with those who have been affected by the presence of drugs in their communities. We have had a number of telephone boxes removed that were being used as key areas to deal drugs from. Working with our partners, we want to make communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safer and encourage people to come forward with information about drug-related crimes where they live.
"As part of Operation Fortress, our ongoing operation targeting those who blight our communities with drugs and drug-related violence, our teams work day and night to identify offenders, make arrests and prevent crime.
“Help us help you rebuild communities around Southampton free from the fear of drugs and drug-related serious violent crime. If you’re concerned about drugs in your neighbourhood, let us know. The more we know, the more we can do about it. “
Five men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and conspiracy to supply heroin, and were handed the following sentences at Southampton Crown Court on 13 and 23 April:
Alizan Bockhari, 31, of Oak Way, Feltham - jailed for 10 years.
Munider Singh, 27, of Willowbrook Road, Southall – jailed for five years.
Sandeep Panesar, 34, of Clarence Street, Southall – jailed for eight years and 6 months.
Parmjit Dhaliwal, 28, of Hughes Road, Hayes – jailed for four years and eight months.
Amarjit Dhillon, 35, of Devon Drive, Chandlers Ford – jailed for two years and eight months.
As part of Operation Anise, the following people were convicted at Southampton Crown Court throughout the investigation and were handed the following sentences:
Darren Adams, 42, of Cranbury Avenue, Southampton - convicted of one count of supplying heroin and was sentenced to two years.
Wesley Walters, 27, of Rampart Road, Southampton - convicted of two counts of supplying heroin and possession of a Section 5 firearm. He was sentenced to five years.
Gary Spencer, 39, of Oxford Street, Southampton - convicted of six counts of supplying heroin and two counts of supply crack cocaine. He was sentenced to two years and four months.
Matthew Burgess, 40, of Denzil Avenue, Southampton - convicted of three counts of supplying heroin and was sentenced to two years.
Jason Evans, 34, of Onslow Road, Southampton - convicted of three counts of supplying heroin and was sentenced to two years and eight months.
Holly Mills, 23, of Onslow Road, Southampton - convicted of being concerned in the supply of heroin and was sentenced to six months.
Kevin Stow, 45, of Belleview Terrace, Southampton - convicted of one count of supplying heroin. He was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years; handed an 18 month supervision order and given a six month drug rehabilitation requirement.