An Albanian drug dealer who had a large poster of Scarface on the wall of his flat has been jailed as part of a gang which sold more than £1 million of cocaine.
The organised crime group operated an extensive drugs network across the Midlands moving kilos of cocaine into South Derbyshire, North West Leicestershire and East Staffordshire.
The ten-strong crew, led by Edmund Haziri, 36 and his younger brother Edward, 34, were arrested in a series of coordinated dawn raids on March 23 last year.
The gang first came to the attention of police after a Police Community Support Officer spotted a vehicle acting suspiciously in the market town of Swadlincote and notified detectives.
The officers quickly uncovered a vast drug dealing network stretching from London to Leicester.
One raid targeted a business premises linked to the gang and discovered a huge DIY casino complete with poker and blackjack tables in the basement.
During another, a sniffer dog found a phone that had been flung out of the window of the home of gang member Alban Krasniqi, in Blackheath Hill, London.
Detectives believed the mobile held the key to part of the group’s county lines operation, known as the “Eddie Line”.
Bodycam footage from the raid shows police searching the flat which had a giant poster of Al Pacino’s villainous character Tony Montana from Scarface by the door.
The mobile phone was locked with a six-digit passcode and officers were initially unable to gain access.
Detectives were confident the discarded handset would prove to be the “Eddie line”, but had only a finite number of attempts to enter the correct passcode.
Officers trawled through hundreds of hours of surveillance footage of the gang member until they found him making a contactless purchase in a convenience store.
They believed that the iPhone he was holding in the footage was the same phone they now had in their possession. They were able to watch CCTV footage of him entering the code, which they then duplicated to unlock the device themselves.
The phone revealed reams of evidence including drug orders, drop locations, dates, and contacts for other criminals.
The drug wraps the group sold were often disguised in folded lottery tickets and were distributed across a wide network of dealers to avoid detection.
During the raids police also uncovered expensive jewellery, clothes and vehicles, stacks of cash
Derby Crown Court heard that the gang is thought to have processed 19.8lbs (9kg) of cocaine, with an estimated street value of up to £1.1 million.
Combined total of 71 years in jail
Over the past year, members have been jailed for a combined total of 71 years and seven months.
The Haziri brothers were each handed 15-year jail sentences while dealer Razvan Manoliu was given a two-year and eight-month sentence on Nov 17.
A final member of the gang, Daniel Stavrat, 29, will be sentenced next month.
Det Insp Kane Martin, who led the investigation, said: “The Eddie line was responsible for poisoning our streets with harmful drugs but the gang simply didn’t care about the damage they left behind.
“They reaped the rewards of their crimes, living lavish lifestyles in London and elsewhere, while the cocaine they pumped into the Midlands destroyed families and relationships.”
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.