A drug dealing ring which operated across North Herts and Stevenage have been jailed for a combined total of 41 years and eight months.

The illegal activities of a six-strong gang – led by Christopher ‘Mouse’ Collins from Hitchin – were uncovered after a series of police raids revealed who was behind cocaine and cannabis street deals which took place between October 2013 and February last year.

Collins, of Coopers Yard in Paynes Park, organised the operation and relied on accomplices to hold drugs in a number of locations, including in Letchworth and Hitchin.

The 29-year-old pleaded guilty in September 2014 to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis, as well as a proceeds of crime act offence, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Cambridge Crown Court last week.

Adam Pike, 28, of Wilbury Way in Hitchin, was seen as Collins’ main assistant and was handed a 10-year jail sentence for conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.

Others involved include 22-year-old Faizan Farooq, of Sunnyside Road in Hitchin, who was sentenced to five years and four months in prison for conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.

Amadur Rahman, 26, of Jessop Road in Stevenage, was given a four-year term, Eustace Smith, 56, of Pascal Way in Letchworth, was sentenced for three years and four months, while Graham Earl, 36, of Talbot Road in Luton, was jailed for seven years.

The trio had all been charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Det Insp Ian Butler said: “Our operation has been a huge success and has led to the disruption of a significant drug ring. While Collins was the leader of this group and it is right that he received the most significant sentence, he would not have been able to supply drugs at this level without those who supported him and I am pleased the courts have recognised their role in the running of the operation.

“Collins however, was not only dealing drugs he was living off the proceeds of his illegally gained money which he spent on expensive cars and holidays. We will be looking now to identify any assets he has bought with drug money to take them from him. By removing property we are ensuring we really are making them pay.”

North Herts Chief Insp Julie Wheatley said: “North Herts is a safe place to live and visit however, we have a small minority of people who are involved in crime and it is right we protect law abiding citizens from the blight of these offenders.

“Drugs have no place in our society and we will do everything in our power to disrupt and arrest offenders. The community truly are our eyes and ears when it comes to crimes such as these and I would like residents to feel empowered to be able to report any suspicions they may have. People involved in such crimes can be intimidating, but they have no place in our society and together we can ensure our communities are even safer by working together to put them in prison.”

In all there are 30 people connected with the drugs ring, with further sentencing taking place at Cambridge Crown Court on May 21.