A police chief has said their pursuit of drug dealers will ‘never falter’ as three men were caged following a huge drugs crackdown by officers in Calderdale.
Operation Lineland has seen three men jailed for over twelve years following appearences at Bradford Crown Court.
Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead, District Commander for Calderdale Police, said: “Drug dealing is a blight on the communities we serve - it not only ruins the lives of those directly involved but it also impacts on many other areas of criminality.
“Those caught up are often the most vulnerable in society.
“Our pursuit of those who take part in this vile trade will never falter - others may seek to fill the void of those jailed - but my message to them is that they need to be aware that the Police and local partners within the community will be resolute and ever present in our determined approach to reduce the harm caused by the few to so many.
We will continue to work closely with our partners to tackle this and other issues that residents feel are priorities but we also need people with information about drugs or other offences to come forward and tell us what is happening.”
Father-of-two Dale Taylor, 31, moved to Halifax to make a fresh start, but last year he was involved in dealing heroin and cocaine to an undercover police officer who was deployed on the streets as part of Operation Lineland.
Taylor, of Friendly Street, Halifax, turned up in expensive hire cars, such as Mercedes and BMWs, to hand over deals to a female officer posing as a drug user on nearly a dozen occasions.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Taylor was a front seat passenger in the vehicles which arrived within minutes of orders for drugs being placed on the so-called “Billy line” mobile phone number.
The police operation. which led to more than a dozen people being charged with drugs offences, was prompted by concerns from local residents in Halifax West about the effects of dealing in their area.
Judge Thomas said the undercover female officer was subjected to “sexualised comments” during the operation including the implied offer of her paying for drugs with sex as opposed to money.
Taylor, who was given a suspended 12-month prison sentence for drugs supply offences in 2011, admitted a total of 11 supplying charges covering a five -week period in September and October last year.
Judge Thomas said the starting point for his sentence was six years, but his early guilty pleas at the magistrates court meant his term could be reduced to four years.
Prosecutor Stephanie Hancock said every drugs transaction took place in the Parkinson Lane area of Halifax which was a residential area with a school and college within half a mile.
She said Taylor and his driver had questioned and “teased” the officer about being with the police and on one occasion she was asked to lift her top up possibly to see if she was wearing “a wire”.
Barrister Ann-Marie Hutton, for Taylor, said he had accepted his responsibility at the earliest opportunity following his arrest.
Zachary Wilkinson, 26, and 28-year-old Mohammed Zahir were also involved in supplying drugs to a female undercover police officer after she was deployed in the Halifax West area last year.
The court heard that Wilkinson was involved in 12 drug deals over a five or six week period and was at the wheel of four different hire cars including BMW and Mercedes vehicles.
Wilkinson, of Newstead Avenue, pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and was jailed for four-and-half years.
Zahir, of Mount Pleasant Avenue, admitted four drug supply offences over a two-week period and he was jailed for three years and nine months.
Sentencing Wilkinson and Zahir, Judge Thomas highlighted the aggravating feature that the drug deals were taking place in a residential area close to a primary school and during school hours.
“The message clearly has to go out, to Halifax in particular but to society in general, that the supply of Class A drugs will be met by significant punishment.”