The final members of a county lines gang responsible for supplying crack cocaine and heroin from Liverpool to Macclesfield have been jailed for a combined total of more than 34 years.
Two members of the ‘Mitch’ gang (Ammin Hassan and Edson Pereira) were sentenced on 11 June at Chester Crown Court, following on from the four who were sentenced on 14 December 2020.
Between July 2019 and July 2020, Jamal Conteh, Zakaria Ahmed and Hassan worked as a team with no hierarchy, using two graft mobile phones during the 12-month operation.
The first graft phone was activated on 16 July 2019 when Conteh and Hassan travelled to Macclesfield to develop the line, sending various ‘flare’ messages to vulnerable users in the town.
Conteh even recruited three youths from Northamptonshire to assist with their drug dealing operation.
Hassan and Ahmed took turns in managing the graft phone in Liverpool while Conteh spent his time in Macclesfield, dabbling in street dealing when he felt like it.
When Conteh wanted to ‘sit off’ he would order Edson Pereira, Oluwafemi Odumuyiwa and Cheryl Hamand to do it on his behalf.
In a bid to step up the operation, Odumuyiwa began hiring vehicles and chauffeured Conteh to deals while even couriering their commodity from Merseyside into Cheshire.
Hamand would allow the gang to operate from her property the town. Officers raided this address in October 2019, discovering 91 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine along with three knives believed to be for protection and more than £330 in cash.
Pereira was arrested after attempting to evade officers by jumping out of a window of a flat. When he was detained £1,742 in cash was in his possession.
Officers stopped a taxi in Wilmslow with Conteh inside, he was arrested and passed two packages containing 249 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine which had concealed inside him. While in custody both Hassan and Ahmed repeatedly attempted to get in contact with Conteh.
Not long after Ahmed was arrested at his Liverpool home where officers discovered £19,470 in cash in his wardrobe along with a Norwegian passport and Dior training shoes worth around £850.
Two months later, Hassan handed himself in to a police station after a wanted appeal was issued by Cheshire Constabulary.
They were all sentenced to the following:
- Jamal Conteh – 12 years
- Ammin Hassan – 7 years 6 months
- Zakaira Ahmed – 7 years 6 months
- Oluwafemi Odumuyiwa – 44 months
- Cheryl Hammand – 31 months reduced to 20 months following appeal
- Edson Pereira – 20 months
Detective Constable Luke Browczuk, of Macclesfield County Lines BIT Team, said: “This was a particularly complex case and after a 12 month operation, it is great to see the sentence handed down by the courts.
“The arrests occurred in the wake of coronavirus but we were determined to bring the gang to justice by cutting off the supply and removing dealers from the streets, putting an end to the misery that they had brought to Macclesfield.
“I hope that the sentence provides reassurance to the communities of Macclesfield that this gang is now off the streets and we will continue to do all we can to make the area a safer place to live and visit.”
Detective Inspector Adam Alexander said: “I would like to echo the comments made by DC Browczuk and thank him and the team for all their hard work on this lengthy case.
“By bringing this gang to justice, I hope that this acts as a deterrent to those who think they can get away with bringing organised crime into Cheshire.
“We will not stop pursuing those who come into the county to commit crime and will continue to do all we can to make Cheshire a hostile environment for criminals.”