A RENTED property was used to produce methamphetamine — a drug “more harmful than heroin or cocaine”, a court heard.
Nehdi Tajabidi (31), of Broom Valley Road, Rotherham, Mehdi Esmacpoor (38), of Farm Drive, Rawmarsh, Luliana Otaraseanu (30) of Manor Fields Close, Kimberworth, and Mohammed Chernarli (30) of Mary Hill Road, Glasgow, all deny conspiracy to produce the class A drug at a rented Broom property.
Opening their trial on Monday at Sheffield Crown Court, prosecutor Mr David Gordon said the four played different roles in the methamphetamine cooking operation, “some greater and some lesser”.
He said: “They in fact produced the drug by a kind of chemical process which involved treating some base compound with further commercially available ingredients and so extracting the useful and wholly prohibited drug from the base compound by filtration and evaporation.
“There is evidence that these four defendants over a period of several months in later 2015 and the first half of 2016 made repeated purchases of acetone and toluene – commercially available substances – from retail and wholesale outlets in Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire which they then took back to this rented address at 37, Broom Valley Road.
“The production process was interrupted in May 2016 by the police who had had the defendants under surveillance for a significant period of time and had monitored, documented and indeed on a number of occasions, filmed and photographed their movements and activities.”
Mr Gordon said methamphetamine was more harmful to users and nearby residents than heroin or cocaine because of its addictiveness and risks associated with its clandestine production.
Mr Gordon said: “Potential physical harm related to this drug includes neurotoxic effects on the brain, damage to the lungs and teeth – known as meth mouth – as well as severe addiction.
“Further harm can result from injecting the drug including transmission of HIV and hepatitis.”
Police closed in on the operation on May 23, 2016 and arrested Esmacpoor, Chernarli and Otaraseanu as they were travelling south on the M6 in Cumbria.
Tajabidi was arrested the next day when police raided the Broom address where they found large quantities of chemicals and equipment such as plastic drums, large filters and sieves which contained methamphetamine.
The prosecutor said Esmacpoor and Chernarli made no comment upon their arrest, but Otaraseanu said: “I lead normal life, I have done nothing wrong.”
The trial continues.