Police search for Rotherham bathroom 'crystal meth lab' trio

Image source, South Yorkshire Police
Image caption, Mohammed Chernarli, Mehdi Esmalpoor and Nehdi Tajabidi are 'now wanted' by South Yorkshire Police

Three men convicted of running a 'crystal meth' laboratory from a bathroom failed to attend court for sentencing

Mohammed Chernarli, 31, of Mary Hill Road, Glasgow, and Mehdi Esmalpoor, 39, of Farm Drive, Rawmarsh, were sentenced to ten years in jail for drugs offences at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday.

Nehdi Tajabidi, 32, of no fixed address, was jailed for seven years.

The lab was in a property in Rotherham and police are now hunting the trio.

South Yorkshire Police said it was the first case of methamphetamine - known as crystal meth - production they had dealt with in the region.

The lab was set up in a property Tajabidi rented on Broom Valley Road. Officers found the three had travelled around the country to "purchase large quantities of chemicals and other equipment".

Esmalpoor and Chernarli were arrested on 23 May 2016, with a search of Tajabidi's address the following day finding face masks, plastic drums, filters, mixing utensils and sieves as well as paperwork.

Image source, South Yorkshire Police
Image caption, A makeshift drug laboratory was set up in the bathroom of a rented property in Rotherham

The three men denied the charges against them but Chernarli and Esmalpoor were found guilty of conspiracy to produce a class A drug after a two-week trial.

Tajabidi was convicted of producing a class A drug.

Det Sgt Anna Sedgwick, who led the investigation, said: "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.

"We will actively pursue them to ensure they serve their sentences behind bars for their crimes."

Methamphetamine is a highly-addictive stimulant which is sold as crystals, pills or powder.

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