Ten men have been jailed for nearly 100 years in total for supplying in excess of 100kg of Class A drugs across the region following a West Midlands ROCU investigation.
The men operated a West Bromwich Organised Crime Group supplying mainly cocaine and heroin during 2020 and at the height of the Covid pandemic with records showing they made over £1.5 million in the same period.
One of the gang even used a van with a ‘Thank You NHS’ to transport the drugs in order to avoid detection.
The men appeared at Leicester Crown Court for sentencing after they all pleaded guilty to drugs offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Kamaljit Singh Chahal, aged 52, was handed 18 years while 25-year-old Bhipon Chahal was given 14 years and 43-year-old Matthias Tulloch 12 years.
Sandeep Johal, aged 32, was told to serve 11 years behind bars as was 41-year-old Miquel Lewin-Miller. Aaron Williams, 43, was handed a 10-and-a-half year jail sentence and Robert Wesley, 39, was jailed for nine years.
Alan Moore-Caswell, 42, was handed a jail term of four years two months while 25-year-old Sandeep Singh will serve three years nine months as will 26-year-old Hitesh Salhotra.
Detectives managed to stop the gang in their tracks following a covert investigation into the group under the op name Op Igneous after Encro chat messages from the Chahal crime group were seized between 26 March and 5 June 2020.
Between these dates the encrypted devices were used by the Chahal crime group to openly discuss the management and delivery of multi kilogram quantities of class A drugs across the UK.
The gang was led by Kamaljit Chahal, from Sutton Coldfield, and his nephew Bhipon Chahal, from Great Barr. They used a network of couriers and facilitators including Miguel Lewin Miller and Matthias Tulloch and communicated using encrypted devices.
These devices were used to distribute Cocaine on a commercial scale by the group who were eventually brought down by police following a complex investigation.
Bounce Back Loans
To avoid detection it was Tulloch who used an NHS emblazoned Van to carry out his criminal activities and taking advantage of the Covid Pandemic. Investigators also identified that both Kamaljit Chahal and Wesley applied for and were given Government backed Bounce Back Loans which they shockingly reinvested into the drugs trade.
We’re now running Operation Target to take a defiant stand against a range of serious offences – from drug dealing and burglary, to cyber-crime and fraud.
Officers are using local intelligence, seizing goods, carrying out warrants and targeting suspects.
Chief Inspector Peter Cooke, from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit, said “This was a significant Class A drugs operation which was being operated during the Covid Pandemic. This is part of our ongoing work to destroy drug networks across the West Midlands and this will carry on as part of Op Target.
“We’re focused on those thought to be involved in the highest levels of organised crime across our region. These men will now be spending nearly 100 years behind bars in total. It sends out a clear warning to others intent on supplying Class A drugs – we simply won’t tolerate it.”