Krishnan Rai, Edwin Kapoor, Paul Metten and Wesley Browne all pleaded guilty on 21 June to their various roles in a conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.
The men were part of a mid-market drugs gang, cutting and distributing cocaine and cannabis through a network of safe houses in north-west London.
Yesterday’s (28 June) sentencing was the result of a wider proactive operation by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Central Task Force called Operation Safeco, to combat illegal drugs supply in the Ealing and Southall areas of London. Officers tracked the gang over a number of months, leading to four arrests and a cocaine seizure at a safe house in Kingshill Avenue, Northholt.
Detective Inspector Stephen Ellen, from the Central Task Force, said: "The Met works tirelessly to remove drugs from the streets of the capital and keep the public safe. Experience shows us that drug dealing can fuel other local forms of crime, so removing mid-market dealers such as these, is a great result for Ealing and Southall."
During the operation, officers observed two of the men, Rai and Kapoor, carrying bags in and out of a Northolt safe house that enquiries later revealed contained cocaine and cutting chemicals. In an upstairs front bedroom of the house, the men cut the drugs down further into larger quantities for wider distribution.
Metten was seen making several trips to the Northolt safe house and was observed meeting with Kapoor in a side road close to the property where a number of suspect packages were exchanged. Officers believed the packages contained drugs and cash.
On Thursday 1 October 2009 officers moved in to arrest the gang. Kapoor and Rai attempted to evade arrest by using two vehicles parked in a nearby side road. Specialist firearms officers were in attendance and discharged "hatton rounds" to flatten the cars tyres and prevent their escape.
Following their successful arrest, officers then searched the safe house, where they found rubber gloves and weighing equipment among other drug paraphernalia. In total 3kg of high purity cocaine was seized, with a street value of approx. a £1 million.
Metten was arrested later that same day at his home address. When officers arrived at the property in Southall, he attempted to escape on foot, but was quickly arrested and found to be in possession of £3000. Officers believe this money was from a recent drugs transaction.
Follow up enquiries led to the arrest of Browne, for the supply of 14kg of cannabis. Browne had supplied Metten with the drugs on 12 August 2009, which had been stored at a separate safe house in Greenford.
Officers raided that property and seized the drugs, which had been hidden in laundry bags. The drugs had an estimated street value of over £85,000.
– Krishnan Rai, 38 (1.12.71) unemployed of Britannia Close, Northolt pleaded guilty to conspiracy with others to supply Class A drugs. He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
– Edwin Kapoor, 36 (2.06.74) unemployed of Westbury Avenue, Southall pleaded guilty conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
– Paul Metten, 35 (29.06.74) unemployed of Regina Road, Southall pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
– Wesley Browne, 29 (13.08.80) unemployed of Green Lanes, Chessington, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B drugs. He was sentenced to 14 months in prison.