1. ITV Report

Police hunt Rotherham crystal meth trio

Police in Rotherham are searching for three men who have been found guilty of setting up a 'crystal meth' drug lab, but did not appear at court.

The trio have been sentenced to a total of 27-years in prison Credit: South Yorkshire Police

The trio have been sentenced to a total of 27-years in prison for setting up the lab in the bathroom of a rented house in Rotherham.

The men, who are now wanted by South Yorkshire Police, denied the charges against them, however they were all convicted yesterday following a two-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Mohammed Chernarli (middle), 31, of Mary Hill Road, Glasgow and Mehdi Esmacpoor (right), 38, of Farm Drive, Rawmarsh, were both convicted for conspiracy to produce the class A drug methyl amphetamine and sentenced to ten years in prison each.

Nehdi Tajabidi (left), 32, of Broom Valley Road, Rotherham, was convicted for production of the class A drug methyl amphetamine and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Not only were they committing serious crime, they were putting the lives of innocent people, living close to the property at risk because of the dangerous nature of the chemical processes involved.

These three men are now wanted and we will actively pursue them to ensure they serve their sentences behind bars for their crimes.

– Detective Sergeant Anna Sedgwick

Enquiries into the actions of the three defendants began in 2015. Evidence showed the men had travelled around the country to purchase large quantities of chemicals and other equipment and return to the property on Broom Valley Road.

Esmacpoor and Chernarli were arrested on 23 May 2016, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. The following day, a warrant was carried out at the address where Tajabidi was arrested on suspicion of production of class A drugs.

South Yorkshire Police found this set up at the property Credit: South Yorkshire Police

A search of the address found numerous chemical containers and equipment including, face masks, plastic drums, filters, mixing utensils and sieves as well as paperwork with estimated monetary values and handwritten lists.

A forensic scientist confirmed that the set up was designed to extract methyl amphetamine from bulk material and there was evidence of the drug having being processed at the site.

This is the first case of ‘meth’ production in South Yorkshire and in this case, as it was an ongoing process, it is difficult to put a price on the quantities involved.

It’s important that people realise that ‘meth’ is an extremely dangerous drug for both the users and wider community because of the hazards linked with its production.

It is harmful because of its highly-addictive nature and side effects including toxic effects to the brain, damage to the lungs and teeth as well as other broader health issues.

– Detective Chief Inspector Paul Wilson, drugs lead for South Yorkshire Police