23 May 2023 12:30 Five men jailed for 61 years for drugs offences Officers recovered heroin during a vehicle stop in Forest Gate.

Five men have been jailed for a combined total of more than half a century for their roles in the supply and possession of heroin with a street value of £100,000.

Detective Constable Ami Henderson, who led the investigation said: “This intelligence led stop by office police has led to five criminals being taken off the streets and stopped a significant amount of heroin going into circulation. It is no secret that drugs are a blight on communities and an unknown number of lives may have been saved thanks to officers following their instincts.”

The investigation began after officers stopped a Mercedes being driven by Nathan Fellows, with Kevin Gyasi and Touras Bailey as passengers, as the vehicle travelled on Romford Road, E7. The vehicle failed to stop for police before it hit bollards on Snowshill Way.

Bailey and Gyasi ran off but were found in nearby Salisbury Road were they were both arrested, Fellows remained in the vehicle. A kilogram of heroin was located at the scene of the stop.

The men were soon charged but officers continued to investigate how the trio came to be in possession of the Class A drug.

Detectives reviewed mobile phone data and ANPR data and it was identified that Shahab Sheikh supplied the drugs to Bailey, Gyasi and Fellows.

Further investigation, through complex phone analysis and fingerprints on the packaging, led officers to Ripon Ali as the man who initially supplied the drugs to Sheikh.

Due to Coronavirus restrictions in place at the time, the sentencing for Sheikh and Ali did not take place until 2021 and 2023 respectively which meant the previous hearing could not be reported until now.

Ripon Ali, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 19 May where he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin, three years imprisonment for being concerned in the supply of illegal substances [sentence concurrent] and a further five years in prison for possession of a firearm [to be served consecutively].

In April 2019, at the same court, the following were sentenced following late guilty pleas on the first day of trial.

Kevin Gyasi, 30 (14.05.93) of Markhouse Road, E17 was sentenced to 10 years and three months imprisonment for possession with intent to supply heroin, three months imprisonment for knife possession and one year imprisonment for perverting the course of justice relating to a prior offence.

Nathan Fellows, 36 (26.01.87) of College Place, E17 was sentenced to seven years for possession with intent to supply heroin and a further year [to run concurrently] for theft of motor vehicle.

Touras Bailey, 31 (1.04.92 – 27yrs) of Woodview Avenue, E4- was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for possession with intent to supply heroin.

All three had a count of a possession of counterfeit laid on file.

In June 2021 Shahab Sheikh, 33 (10.11.89) of Epping New Road, IG9, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin and a further three years for perverting the course of justice by handing a note to his co-defendant providing written instructions of what to say [sentences to be served consecutively]. Sheikh was sentenced for a further count of possession of counterfeit currency sentenced to six months in prison [to be served concurrently]. This sentence took place after a full trial.