Two drug dealers have been jailed for almost 10 years after separate police investigations took a firearm, Class A drugs and almost £150,000 in criminal cash off the streets.
Gary Dolan, 34, of Purbeck Close, Bedford, was arrested as part of a major policing operation to tackle a notorious Luton drugs gang.
Meanwhile Azeem Khan, 22, of Summerfield Road, Luton, posted photos of himself on Facebook in possession of a firearm before officers swooped in to arrest him, recovering cash and drugs in the process.
This week the pair have been jailed for four years eight months and five years respectively.
Detective Chief Inspector Louisa Glynn, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “Both of these cases demonstrate the serious consequences that await anyone who gets involved in organised crime.
“We know Bedfordshire faces a significant challenge from the illegal drugs trade, its associated violence and exploitation of children and other vulnerable people.
“But we will not stop pursuing those involved in peddling this misery, as well as working with different agencies and communities across Bedfordshire to protect people at risk of exploitation and offer them a brighter future.”
Police seized six mobile phones from Dolan and an associate in February last year, as part of an investigation into an organised crime group’s illegal activity.
In April 2020, four warrants were carried out in Bedford, Kempston and Luton. Dolan was arrested at an address in Bromham Road, Bedford.
At the address police recovered around £25,000 worth of cocaine as well as £145,495 in cash. This cash was spread across the address, being hidden in a locked safe, concealed within clothing, hidden within a pram and inside a rucksack.
Police also recovered multiple items of designer clothing and expensive jewellery, including a Rolex watch.
Dolan pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs as well as possession of criminal property.
On Tuesday, June 22, he was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for the drug offences and 18 months for the criminal property offence, which will be served at the same time.
A separate police investigation established that Azeem Khan was involved in the supply of Class A drugs, and also had access to a firearm.
Detectives took action and carried out a warrant at his address in October. Following a search at the address, officers located a loaded handgun with a suppresser in the loft of the property, as well as ammunition and ecstasy worth almost £7,000.
A few months prior, in May 2020, Khan had been stop and searched in a Luton park, where was found in possession of cannabis, cash and multiple phones.
A full search of the vehicle Khan was travelling in then uncovered crack cocaine and heroin.
On Thursday, June 25, 2021, Khan was handed five years in prison for two counts of possession of a prohibited firearm. He was given a sentence of three years and nine months for five counts of drug dealing offences, which will be served at the same time.
He had pleaded guilty to all offences.
Bedfordshire Police is supporting the next campaign by the Bedfordshire Against Violence and Exploitation (BAVEX) project raising awareness of child exploitation.
To report any information to the police then please visit Bedfordshire.police.uk/report