A drugs gang have been jailed for more than 200 years for distributing heroin across Birmingham city.
Seven criminals were sent to prison during a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court after police recovered £3.5 million of the class A drug.
Detectives also uncovered two firearms and hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash linked to the group.
In total 20 criminals have been jailed as part of the investigation.
The focus of the latest court hearings was 30-year-old Zaheer Hussain who was found to be running the organised crime group.
Officers will now be using powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to recoup money the gang made and put it back into the public purse.
Detective Inspector Martin Brennan, who oversaw the investigation, said: “This was the final chapter of an extremely complex investigation against a network of criminals who were distributing huge amounts of heroin in Birmingham.
“Zaheer Hussain’s network was far reaching and he was able to facilitate the importation of heroin and its supply around the UK and he even held a degree of control over street supply here in Birmingham.
“Not only has our operation taken cash and drugs off the street but we also recovered two firearms which in the wrong hands could have proved deadly.
“It’s impossible to quantify the impact that this amount of class A drugs would have had on our communities in Birmingham ? thankfully it will now never reach our streets and these criminals are facing a long time behind bars.
“This was a painstaking investigation and I want to praise all of the officers and CPS involved for smashing this network and bringing the offenders to justice.
“However this investigation is not over and we will be using POCA to ensure the cash is re-invested back into community projects.”
A large scale operation was launched in 2010 after intelligence suggested Zaheer Hussain, of Roland Road in Lozells.
This resulted in two seizures of heroin in August 2009 and March 2010 worth around £250,000. Then in August 2010 and July 2011 two more substantial seizures of heroin were made ? fingerprints were lifted from the second one which linked back to Habib Hussain.
In October 2011 Hussain was stopped while driving to Birmingham and was found with £150,000 worth of heroin in the car.
During the investigation other key players were identified, namely Haroon Ali, Nasim Mohammed, Habib Husain, Mohammed Asim Aslam and Shaker Ali. Louis Lockett, was identified as acting as a ‘courier’ for the group.
Lockett was linked to the group after police stopped him in his vehicle travelling towards Birmingham in possession of seven kilos of caffeine and paracetamol ? commonly used to cut and bulk out heroin.
The group were linked him to criminals in Pakistan who were arranging imports of heroin to the UK.
Following a 12-week trial at Stafford Crown Court the six men were found guilty.
At Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesdat (December 18) Zaheer Hussain was handed a 20 year jail sentence. Haroon Ali, 26, of Cherry Tree Avenue Walsall was jailed for 10 years; Mohammed Asim Aslam, 29, of Selston Road, Aston, was jailed for 12 years; Habib Hussain, 34, of Hope Street, West Bromwich, was jailed for nine years; Nasim Mohammed, 29, of Selston Road, Aston, was jailed for five years; Shaker Ali, 27, of Arden Road, Aston, was jailed for four years and Louis Lockett, 30, of Willbraham Road in Manchester, was jailed for four years.