Gun and drug fixer jailed

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A PROMISING student who became a drug addict is in jail today for nine years after selling drugs and a sawn-off shotgun to undercover police

Raja Hanif, 25, known as Jam, of Dudwell Lane, Skircoat Green, Halifax, admitted 15 charges including possessing a firearm plus possession, supplying and being concerned in the supply of class A and B drugs.

He was caught by undercover officers “Daz and Sonny” who approached Hanif in Halifax town centre.

They were working as part of the Calderdale-wide police operation Irondale. On their first meeting, Hanif sold the officers £20 of cannabis and a week later they doubled their order.

They continued to meet Hanif every few days, ringing or sending text messages to arrange meeting points to buy drugs.

Then Daz called Hanif, asking him to supply a gun, pretending he wanted revenge on Sonny, who had run away, owing him money.

After haggling, Hanif offered to sell him a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun for £2,050. The gun, originally from Spain, was sent from Birmingham to Bradford for Hanif to collect.

As Daz arrived to pick up the gun at one of Hanif’s homes in Canal Road, Bradford, officers burst into the flat. Hanif threw a bag containing the shotgun, mobile phones and latex gloves out of a window, where more officers were waiting.

References were handed to the court from Hanif’s family and former teachers calling him likeable, articulate and capable.

Recorder Paul Isaacs said: “I was saddened. I was saddened for you, I was saddened to see a boy of such promise, a boy who had so much to offer, both to his community and to the community at large. Your community needs role models, people who other people can look up to and about who it was said ‘Look how well he has done’. But you have let all those people down.”

His nine-year sentence included four years for supplying class A drugs, with 18 months running concurrently for supplying class B. He was given five years for possessing a firearm.

Also concurrent were sentences for possessing Diazepam tablets, criminal damage and perverting the course of justice.

Recorder Isaacs praised the undercover officers particularly Daz for his “bravery, sheer resilence and investigative competence”.

Detextive Inspector Gary Stephenson from Calderdale CID said: “A significant amount of time and effort went into Operation Irondale from officers from the Calderdale Division, Crime Division and Operational Support Division and we are now starting to see the fruits of this labour with significant prison sentences handed down.

“Officers amassed sufficient evidence to arrest and charge people who are involved in criminal activity and who cause the most harm in our communities.

“Operation Irondale targeted people who have no consideration for the lives they are ruining through their drug dealing and criminal activity.

“The nature and scale of the operation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to targeting criminals in Calderdale who think they can get away with preying on law-abiding people.

“I hope today’s sentence sends out a clear message to all criminals that we will not standby and allow people to live off the proceeds of their crimes.”