Drug dealers jailed after £1.3 million cocaine haul seized in Leicester
Two drug dealers have been jailed in connection with a £1.3 million seizure of cocaine.
Dipesh Kara (27) was sentenced to nine years, while Rohin Bhakta (27), who worked for him, was jailed for five years and three months.
Both admitted conspiracy to supply high purity cocaine.
Leicester Crown Court was told Kara used a rented flat in London Road, Stoneygate, Leicester, as a 'safe house’ where the drugs and bundles of cash were stashed.
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James Thomas, prosecuting, said the address came to the attention of three men from a rival criminal gang, who were under surveillance.
Police watched as the three burgled the flat, before detaining them with their haul of £99,180 cash and 3.8kg of 83 per cent pure cocaine, on June 14 last year.
Officers searched the flat and found three sets of scales and 3.76kg of cutting agent, benzocaine.
On June 25, Kara, of Avebury Avenue, Northfields, Leicester, was involved in a police chase and ended up smashing a Ford Focus into two police cars.
A total of 2.5kg of 38 per cent cocaine was found in his vehicle.
Officers found £7,840 in cash in another of his cars.
Kara admitted dangerous driving, regarding his collision with the police, and was given a concurrent six month jail sentence and banned from driving for two years.
The court heard that on July 17, police observed Bhakta, of Bassett Street, Woodgate, Leicester, arriving in Ainsdale Road, near Hinckley Road, in a silver Focus.
He then got into a parked black Focus and drove off to what was believed to be a drugs rendezvous.
Police later recovered the black Focus and found 66.5g of 27 per cent pure cocaine.
At Kara's home, police found 825g of benzocaine and £10,000 in cash, with a further £1,850 from another city address he was associated with.
Mr Thomas said: "This was very substantial drug dealing and Kara recruited Bhakta to assist him, in a subordinate role."
He said all the cocaine seized had a street value of £1.3 million, while the cash recovered amounted to more than £132,000.
Recorder Marcus Tregilgas-Davey said: "Other drug dealers broke into the safe house and stole your money and drugs.
"The amounts involved gives an insight into the scale of the operation.
"Within two seeks of losing the money and drugs you were both out peddling more drugs."
Ian Groom, mitigating for Kara, said: "His last conviction arose out of addiction and in order to feed that he had to supply for another.
"A debt built up and he got caught up in it again, to some extent under threat and pressure.”
Balraj Bhatia, for Bhakta, said he allowed himself to be recruited by Kara through "misplaced loyalty”.
Mr Bhatia said: "He can't come to terms with the way he's brought shame and embarrassment to his very respectable law-abiding and hard working family."
Afterwards, Detective Inspector Chris Hewgill, of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, which carried out the inquiry in conjunction with Leicestershire police, said: “Analysis of the drugs has shown that the cocaine was of importation purity, indicating that they had connections close to the original source of the drugs.
"They were also intent on boosting their profits by mixing the cocaine with a substitute to prepare it for sale on the streets of Leicestershire.”
The three Leicester men who raided Kara's 'safe house' during the Leicestershire police surveillance operation were each jailed for six years last November.