Four individuals operating a drugs network in Harrogate and the surrounding areas have been sent to prison.
They appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday 14 August 2023:
- 39-year-old Biba of Trafalgar Court, Harrogate, was jailed for 13 years and six months.
- 26-year-old Tatariku of Chatsworth Grove, Harrogate was jailed for seven years and one month.
- 23-year-old Lleshi of Kinloss Court, North Circular Road, Barnet, London was jailed for six years and three months.
- 41-year-old Sarkowski of Wedderburn Close, Harrogate was jailed for four years and seven months.
- A fifth man, 45-year-old Gavin Woodley of Fairfax Avenue, Harrogate was given a suspended sentence in March 2023 after pleading guilty to allowing a premises to be used under the ‘Misuse of Drugs Act.
Their activities were uncovered by ‘Operation Logic’, a police investigation into the supply of cocaine and cannabis in Harrogate and Rochdale, Greater Manchester, which commenced in September 2021.
Biba, Tatariku, Lleshi and Sarkowski pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply class A and class B drugs.
The court heard evidence gathered by North Yorkshire Police’s ‘Operation Logic’ linking members of the OCG to drugs supply, and communications with customers.
The operation led police to Ashfield Road, Harrogate on 5 May 2022 where suspects Biba, Tatariku and Lleshi were discovered. After attempting to escape and assaulting officers, they were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs. Drugs and related items were seized along with cash and cannabis growing equipment.
A search of Adam Sarkowski’s home resulted in mobile phones and sim cards being seized. These revealed valuable information about county lines, drug-dealing activity and vehicles used, as well as many messages with customers relating to purchasing drugs. Forensic tests on cash found at the property also revealed cocaine traces.
A search of the address where Gavin Woodley lived revealed a small amount of cocaine and cannabis, as well as a Taser stun gun and a blank-firing pistol. He was initially linked to the investigation through mobile phone data, as well as being the named tenant for Ashfield Road.
Evidence uncovered by Operation Logic also connected Biba, Lleshi and Woodley to a large-scale cannabis production facility at Sherwood Business Park, Queensway, Rochdale. This site, uncovered by Greater Manchester Police, grew cannabis with a street value of £1,440,000.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Sinead Brocken, said:
We are delighted to have put a stop to this Organised Crime Group, headed by Biba, who were responsible for supplying cocaine and cannabis to Harrogate and the surrounding areas for a period spanning between 2019 to 2022.
Drug rings such as this have a ruinous effect on our society leaving a trail of misery. These individuals acted out of pure selfishness, disregarding the damage caused by drugs to both our communities and those addicted to them.
Today’s positive results are a reminder that North Yorkshire Police will not accept this type of criminality and should send a strong message out that myself and my colleagues will work relentlessly to put a stop to operations such as these.