Boss of Northamptonshire cocaine gang jailed for 14 years after police seized Â£1 million worth of drugs in major sting
The kingpin of a cocaine and cannabis trafficking gang in NorthamptonshireÂ whose supply line had a street value of Â£1 million has been jailed for 14 years.
Mirjan Kola, of Brownlee Place, Wootton bought wholesale amounts of cocaine from suppliers in London, which was then couriered north to a gang in Nottinghamshire led by 31-year-old Blerim Aga.
Between July 2015 and November 2015 officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), worked with Nottinghamshire Police and Northamptonshire Police, to follow the gang members.
As a result of the investigation, officers seized more than 7kgs of cocaine, with a potential street value of around £1 million, half a kilo of cannabis, worth in excess of £7,500, and quantities of horse tranquilizer, MDEC (recreational designer drug ethylone) and morphine.
In a reflection of the extent of the group’s illicit activities a stun gun, pepper spray, deal bags and scales, false identity documents and more than £63,000 in cash were also recovered.
Kola, Aga, and 12 of their drugs suppliers and couriers, were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court over three days (Thursday 22, Friday 23 and Friday 30 September 2016).
They were handed jail terms as follows:
• 1. Mirjan Kola, 26, formerly of Brownlee Place in Wooton, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine: 14 years.
• 2. Blerim Aga, aged 31, formerly of Dennis Avenue in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine: 12 years.
• 3. Rudin Gripshi, aged 43, formerly of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine. He was also sentenced for other matters of a similar nature in Bristol: 13 years and four months to run concurrently.
• 4. Anton Robinson, 21, formerly of Susan Drive, Basford, Nottingham, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine: 11 years.
• Jason Letts, aged 32, formerly of Rampton Road in Retford, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine: 11 years.
• 5. Mirfat Muleshku, aged 20, formerly of Leighton Street in Sneinton, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession of an identity document with improper intention: Ten years and eight months.
• 6. Dritan Xhixha, aged 30, formerly of Gainsborough Road in Corby, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession of an identity document with improper intention. He was also sentenced for other matters of a similar nature in Bristol: Six years and eight months to run concurrently.
• 7. Anthony Shannon, aged 35, formerly of Ulgham Close in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine: Six years.
• Mentor Gashi, aged 35, formerly of Rosgill Place in Northampton, pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine: Six years.
• 8. Shkelqim Hoti, aged 45, formerly of Greenfield Avenue in Northampton, was found guilty of two charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine: Five years.
• 9. Brady Hastings, aged 31, of Millbank Place in Bestwood Village, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine: Four years and six months.
• Bekem Hareni, aged 20, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine: Four years at a young offenders’ institute.
• 10. Adam Marsden, aged 34, formerly of Trent Road in Sneinton, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine: Three years and four months.
• 11. Chester Holliday, aged 26, formerly of Graylands Road in Bilborough, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis, possession of morphine, possession of MDEC, possession of ketamine, possession of a stun gun (a Section 5 prohibited firearm) and possession of cocaine: Two years.
EMSOU’s Detective Inspector Greg Maides said: “We were investigating the movements of this particular organised crime group over the course of 12 months and recovered a large quantity of high purity Class A drugs in the process. While we can only account for their actions during the timescales of our inquiry it’s fair to say they were an established network of criminals.
“The result of this investigation demonstrates that while we have taken out the top of the food chain, we have extended right down to those operating the local drug dealing enterprises where the damage is ultimately done to our communities.
“With drugs comes cash and with cash comes greed and ultimately violence, not to mention the crime fuelled by addiction. I hope those who live and work in the East Midlands can take comfort in the fact that 14 men who perpetuate this sort of damage have now been removed from our neighbourhoods.”
The sentencings took place while members of a seperate cocaine operation running between Northampton, Manchester and Luton were also handed lengthy jail terms totalling 147 years.