AN EVIL gang who peddled hard drugs on the streets of Southampton were caught out because of a faulty rear light on a taxi.

Today five members are counting the cost – an aggregate of 29 years behind bars.

Officers stopped the vehicle and arrested the passenger, Abdi Farah, who had ordered the fare from a flat in Rotterdam Towers, Weston.

After ordering him to get out of the vehicle, officers noticed two golf ball-sized plastic balls on the floor near the passenger seat. An analysis revealed one package contained 100 wraps of heroin and 29 wraps of cocaine in cling film and heat-sealed bags.

The other contained 24 wraps of heroin and 49 wraps of cocaine, together worth more than more than £2,000 at street level.

Prosecutor Adam Feest revealed how police then went to a flat in the tower block where they received no reply from a knock on the door but heard the sound of movement inside. The door was forced and they found Abdi Saeed sitting on the sofa, guarding the premises which was being used as a warehouse and for the cutting up of the hard drugs.

Police consequently carried out a search of the flat in which they seized further cocaine and heroin, principally from a supermarket bag on the balcony.

Its combined value stood at more than £13,000 and would have represented a profit of about £9,000 if sub-divided into deals. They also recovered drug packaging equipment and mobile phones. Mr Feest said as police were searching the premises, three other conspirators – Randy Elliott, Omar Abdi and Abdullah Mohamoud – turned up. Elliott, said Mr Feest, was found to be carrying about £1,400. A sixth man, Ali Mohammed, was also discovered to have been a frequent visitor to the flat.

Mr Feeest said it was the prosecution’s case the defendants had been involved in the dealing of heroin and cocaine, using the flat as a base.

“The recovery of the drugs in fact was a snapshot of the conspiracy that had been carrying on for about two months.”

Elliott apart, the others played a significant role in the operation.

Abdi Saeed, 22, of Rotterdam Towers, Southampton; Omar Abdi, 21, from Ruislip; Randy Elliott, 19, of Haven Crescent, Hill Head; Abdi Farah, 20, from Hayes; Abdullah Mohamoud, 23, of Bullar Road, Southampton, and Ali Mohamed, 33, of Northam Road, Southampton, admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply.

Mohamoud also admitted possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply, possessing cannabis with intent to supply and possession of criminal property, which were committed while on bail.

“Drug dealers at this level can expect substantial custodial sentences,” said Judge Gary Burrell QC.