A DRUG dealer has been jailed for supplying heroin and crack cocaine from Birmingham into Hereford.

The head of the county lines gang Kamran Rashid has been jailed for eleven and a half years for running the 'P Line' network.

Drug runners Talat Mahmood and Lisa Fayers – who Rashid employed to deal on his behalf – were also handed prison sentences of four years 10 months and three years nine months, respectively, at Worcester Crown Court.

The court heard that Rashid, from The Broadway, Aston, was frequently travelling between Birmingham and Hereford in various hire cars on suspected drug deliveries.

Officers intercepted the 30-year-old on August 31 last year in Grandstand Road, Hereford, and arrested him.

No drugs were found in the car but £1,500 in cash and a phone used to run the P Line – which was contacting around 50 customers a day – was seized.

He was bailed to give detectives time to gather further evidence – but it was later discovered that just eight hours after his release Rashid sent a message to P Line clients telling them “brand new phone, old number gone, pls don’t text it police have it”.

In a bid to distance himself from the supply chain he recruited Mahmood, 40, and 41-year-old Fayers – a couple from Nelson Road, Aston – to carry out the cross-border drug runs on his behalf.

However, Rashid retained control of the main dealer phone and acted as a ‘switchboard’ directing Mahmood and Fayers to people who had placed class A orders.

They were stopped by police on October 5 last year in a vehicle on Belmont Road, Hereford, in possession of £1,300 in cash and a phone which analysis showed was in repeated contact with Rashid’s Aston-based supply hotline.

Rashid turned to Hayley Williams, aged 46 from Grandstand Road in Hereford, in a bid to fulfil P Line orders but she, along with Rashid and Fayers, were arrested on June 5 and charged with conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Mahmood was arrested 13 days later moments after walking from the prison gates of HMP Birmingham having completed a sentence for another matter.

Williams was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and a drug rehabilitation order for playing a lesser role in the supply chain.

Police had evidence that Rashid’s drugs hotline supplied narcotics valued at around £150,000 between July 2017 and February 2018.

Operation Ballet has netted 75 suspected drug dealers believed to be involved in a total of 10 county lines operating out of the West Midlands and London.

Herefordshire Superintendent Sue Thomas, said: “It’s very pleasing to see that all the good investigative work from our officers in Hereford as well as in the West Midlands ROCU team has resulted in these convictions.

“We completed the final arrest phase recently for Op Ballet… more trials and hopefully convictions will be taking place in the coming months and I hope this serves as a warning to those who are considering getting involved in county lines drug activity that we are working with our neighbouring forces to clamp down on this in Hereford and the bigger cities like Birmingham.”