DRUG dealers who plotted in Dewsbury to flood the UK with crystal meth have been jailed for nearly 20 years.
Ringleader Jabbar Hyder, 31, of Savile Street, was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years for his key role. He was the mastermind behind the production of more than 27kg of methylamphetamine.
He and co-conspirator Christopher Allday, 29, of Rockhill Close, Birstall, used a unit at a mill building in Earlsheaton.
Leeds Crown Court heard the drugs, worth at least £1.3m, were in a very low purity dilute form, but there was enough for national distribution.
Hyder admitted conspiracy to produce methylamphetamine and possessing cannabis. He is already serving four years for other drugs offences.
The court heard he was on bail awaiting sentence in 2011 for those crimes when he became involved in this venture.
Allday also admitted conspiracy to produce methylamphetamine. He was jailed for seven years and four months.
A third man, Thomas Cadden, 21, of Ellis Court, Textile Street, Dewsbury, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
He admitted a lesser charge of being concerned in the production of methylamphetamine and to possession of cannabis.
Rob Mairs, prosecuting, said police were tipped off by staff at a chemical firm concerned about unusually large orders for compounds such as red phosphorus.
Internet orders made by the gang aroused suspicion, with staff not happy with the reasons given for needing such huge quantities.
Police were easily able to trace the suspects as the gang used their own personal details and bank accounts to place the orders.
Hyder denied anything suspicious was going on at the Hotspot Car Wash, the business he owned on Bradford Road, Dewsbury.
But an investigation over the summer of 2011 led officers to the industrial unit in Earlsheaton, which Allday had rented as a garage.
Police found what is thought to be the biggest lab ever seen in West Yorkshire for the production of Class A drugs.
Making methylamphetamine requires various chemicals that produce toxic fumes and the risk of explosion. Fire and ambulance crews were among those who attended the Earlsheaton raid due to the hazardous nature of the chemicals involved.
Mr Mairs said the unit had only been rented for five weeks but it was “clearly an attempt to manufacture on an industrial scale”.
He added that Cadden worked for Hyder at the car wash and accepted delivery of the chemicals on three occasions for his boss.
Shufqat Khan, for Allday, said his client owed Hyder money and had fallen “under his shadow”.
Det Chief Insp Paul Jeffrey, of Kirklees Police, said: “The facility set up by Hyder was, we believe, the first of its kind in Yorkshire.
“It had the capacity to flood the streets of our region and other parts of the country with millions of pounds’ worth of methylamphetamine.
“The vigilance of those who reported their concerns allowed us to put a stop to this scheme before it was able to really get going.”