07:57AM, Thursday 17 October 2013
A drugs network thought to have been masterminded by a criminal kingpin from behind bars was smashed when police swooped on cars in Maidenhead laden with drugs and cash.
Nine members of the gang were jailed for a total of 38 years at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday.
Three of them are from Maidenhead and described by officers as playing a 'significant role' in the criminal network.
The strike was coordinated by the Met Police's Trident Gang Crime Command.
The specialist unit was set up to focus on gun crime by London gangs but also works on other gang-related operations.
Police seized drugs after targeting the three cars in Florence Avenue in the North Town area on Wednesday, February 27.
One vehicle was loaded with eight kilos of ketamine, eight kilos of mephedrone and eight kilos of methadrone-hydrochloride, also known as Meow Meow.
More than £54,500 in cash and a Class C drug was discovered in two other vehicles.
Eight of the defendants had pleaded guilty to drugs charges in July.
Ismail Khan, 43, from Cornwall Close, was sentenced to three years and four months for one count of conspiracy to supply Class B drugs.
Ayaz Akbar, 46, from Florence Road was sentenced to four years for the same offences as was 33-year-old William Busteed, of West Dean, who was jailed for two years and four months.
Met Police said they believe the entire operation was orchestrated by Wilson Mirembe, originally from Reading, from his prison cell.
The 33-year-old was already locked up for eight-and-a-half years for armed robbery. He was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class B and Class C drugs at Isleworth Crown Court following a seven day trial.
He will serve nine years and four months for conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and another nine months concurrently for conspiracy to supply Class C drugs.
Other members of the gang are from Worcestershire, Kidderminster, Walthamstow and Forest Gate.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Steve Meechan said:
"These convictions were part of a complex ongoing operation by Trident officers to target organised criminal networks and their criminal assets."
He added: "We have a zero tolerance approach to organised criminality, gang crime and drug supply."
The conviction follows the imprisonment of eight men in December after a wide-scale trafficking operation was uncovered by the Met following a drug exchange at Squires Garden Centre in Windsor.
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Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.