A HUDDERSFIELD man has been jailed for 13 years for his part in an international drugs ring.

Michael Small had earlier been found guilty of smuggling and dealing in class A drugs.

He was also given an 11-year sentence on another drugs smuggling charge as a gang of dealers and smugglers faced the court. That sentence will run concurrently.

The head of the smuggling ring, Lincoln White, originally from Jamaica, was jailed for 25 years for smuggling and dealing in class A drugs.

Other people involved in the crimes were given jail sentences totalling more than 120 years at Kingston Crown Court, London.

The judge also told White he would be recommending his deportation from the United Kingdom once he had served his sentences, which are to run concurrently.

The gang smuggled crack cocaine into Britain and distributed it across the country.

Detectives believe they earned an astonishing £170m from their crimes.

Small, 37, from Spaines Road, Fartown, was described as the "Huddersfield link" in the conspiracy, which stretched from London to the north of England.

As well as being seen operating as a drug dealer, Small was responsible for recruiting a courier to travel abroad to collect drugs.

The judge said Small, a schoolfriend of White's in Jamaica, was closer to the organiser than one might normally expect a street-level dealer to be.

Welcoming the sentencing, Det Chief Insp Mick Ryan said: "I am delighted with this result.

"This case demonstrated what role each individual had to play in this vile trade of crack cocaine supply on our streets - from couriers being recruited in towns and cities up and down the country and dispatched to import the cocaine from Latin America, to the end product in the form of a massive haul of crack, ready for street distribution, being recovered in a flat in south London.

"The sentences reflect the varying degrees of participation of those involved and send a clear message that whatever part you play in the drug chain, you will be punished.

"Lincoln White was the drug lord who masterminded this operation. My message to these drug lords is simple. If you think you are untouchable, think again - because sooner or later the National Crime Squad will get you too."

The court heard that the Surbiton branch of the National Crime Squad began its investigation in 2002.

It built up a picture of a highly organised international group operating primarily from London, but also using people from around the country.