ELEVEN drug dealers have been jailed for a total of 28 years for using a train station to hand out heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

The gang of men aged between 18 and 29 “openly used Ilford Station as a drug market”, selling Class A and B substances outside in Cranbrook Road.

They were put under surveillance by British Transport (BTP) and Metropolitan Police officers in February 2016, and after a six-month operation the dealers were arrested on September 1.

They were sentenced to a total of 28 years and three months in prison at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday afternoon (March 24).

The men were 20-year-old Klevis Locaj, of no fixed abode, 18-year-old Abdul Boota, of Fairlop Road, Leytonstone, 20-year-old Sherali Nasiri, of Benton Road, Ilford, 25-year-old Mohammed Haider, of no fixed abode, 29-year-old Sandip Singh, of no fixed abode, 27-year-old Awalkhan Naserkhel, of Park Avenue, Ilford, and 21-year-old Haroon Nikai, also of Park Avenue.

Rakeem Rajput-Siddique, 23, of The Coverdales, Ilford, Masood Ahmadi, 26, of Lanterns Way, Millwall, Mohammed Darwish, 24, of no fixed abode, and Ardit Isha, 20, of no fixed abode were also convicted.

Aleem Khan, 27, of Kensington Gardens, Ilford was acquitted half way through the three-week trial.

Xheri Kefta, 30, of Ederfield Road, Hackney, and Edison Capa, 19, of Ingerbourne Road in Rainham, were also found not guilty.

BTP inspector John Loveless said the gang’s drug operations at the station resulted in regular anti-social behaviour for passengers and staff.

He said commuters and station staff had been assaulted and female passengers often made to feel uncomfortable by the gang’s catcalls.

As a result “Operation Parish” was launched in collaboration with Redbridge Council with the aim of improving quality of life for passengers and staff at Ilford.

DCI Sam Blackburn said: “BTP officers had received intelligence that men had been causing a lot of problems around Ilford railway station.

“Residents, commuters and station staff were constantly intimidated and felt unsafe living and travelling through Ilford.

“We became aware there were challenges in the area and through this, Operation Parish was born.

“This sentence shows we will do everything we can to ensure that people can travel and work without fear of intimidation.

“Nobody should feel intimidated or unsafe while they go about their daily lives.”

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal added: “We’ve been working closely with the police and we were very pleased with the strong action taken to clamp down on crime and disorder in the area.

“I’m delighted to see the results of this hard work which sends a strong message that Redbridge is not a place that will tolerate this kind of activity.”