A teenager who led a nationwide drugs operation was involved in a ‘turf war’ in Huddersfield in which a man was shot.
Javarni Cato, 17, has been locked up for five years and four months after a series of shootings in Dalton and Deighton last year .
At the beginning of the hearing, judge Guy Kearl lifted a reporting restriction on identifying the teenager, who is due to turn 18 in May, in the public interest due to the “substantial problems that there are with firearms in the Huddersfield community.”
Simon Kealey QC, prosecuting, said that on June 21 police went to a flat in Gloucestershire and Cato along with another male jumped out of the window.
When police went inside they found 23 wraps of heroin and 24 wraps of cocaine with a total value of £470.
They also found £530 in cash and a number of mobile phones, one of which the judge described as “obviously a drugs line used to send out block text messages and had been used all over the country.”
The drugs line was called KS and Cato employed a number of people to work for him, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Mr Kealey then said that on July 22 shots were fired from a car on Dalton Fold Road at two girls who ran into a nearby garden.
Another shooting took place five days later after taxi driver Asif Khan picked up four males from a house in Dalton and drove them to Holays.
When the passengers got out of the taxi, a vehicle passed by and shots were fired towards the taxi.
Mr Khan was seriously injured as the pellets were lodged in his back.
On the same day family members Michael Moore, Ricky Moore and Andrea Moore were shot at while sitting in a black VW Golf in New House Crescent in Deighton.
They had been approached by a group of males and as they drove off, shots were fired at their car.
Mr Kealey added: “On the 31st of July there was a call from a prison from an inmate to Cato.
“Cato said he was on the run for an attempted murder and he had shot a youth in Huddersfield.”
Cato, who has nine previous convictions for 17 offences including robbery, battery and theft, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and two counts of possession to supply class A drugs.
He admitted discharging a self-loading pistol - but did not admit to shooting Mr Khan.
Bryan Cox QC, defending, said that his client has experienced health problems, which he did not disclose in open court, in his early adolescent years.
He added: “The opportunity for rehabilitation is obvious.”
The judge, who recognised that Cato suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but said that the shootings could only be explained as “retaliation in a drugs turf war”, sentenced him to five years and four months’ in detention.
Cato was living in Netherhouse Close, Kingstanding, Birmingham, at the time of the crimes.
Det Chief Insp Jaz Khan, of the force’s Firearms Prevent Team, who lead the investigation, said: “This conviction demonstrates to the communities of Kirklees the action we will take against those involved in firearms offences.
“It should be a warning to those who carry weapons with the intent to cause fear that we will do everything within our power to detect those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Anyone with information about the illegal possession or storage of any firearm, contact police on the non-emergency number 101 or information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.