A SHOOT-out between rival drug dealers in East Lancashire has seen the conviction of a Prestwich man.

Two men were shot in Salus Street, Burnley, while another suffered serious head injuries during a disturbance between rival drug dealers. Vehicles were also rammed.

The flashpoint occurred during the attempted ‘taxing’ of a £220,000 cannabis farm located inside a home on the street.

Later one of the vehicles used during the incident was torched.

Eight men from across Greater Manchester and Lancashire, were later charged and convicted of drugs and firearms offences at Preston Crown Court.

These included Gulam Rauf, 39, of Hartley Avenue, Prestwich, who admitted to perverting the course of justice, which involved torching a car used in the attack.

Police were first made aware of the ruckus when they were called to reports of a group attacking a man with weapons at around 12.30am on a date in February 2021.

Shortly afterwards the ambulance service was called to a nearby home to deal with a man with a cut to his head.

Just after 1.15am police were then called again to reports a 39-year-old man was being treated at hospital for an apparent gunshot wound to the leg. At 4.30am officers were then called to reports a silver BMW estate car had been found burnt out.

Detectives later established the men were all linked to the supply of cannabis.

Speaking after the case Det Supt Nick Connaughton, of Lancashire Police, said: “The truly appalling violence that took place in the early hours of February 4, 2021, was completely unacceptable.

“Although an extremely rare occurrence on the streets of Lancashire, it just shows the lengths that organised crime groups are prepared to go to in order to protect their commodity.

“That is why we set up Operation Coolant earlier this year, to target these cannabis farms before rivals...can get to them and prevent any associated violence.

“All the individuals charged....either played key roles on the day in the violence or attempted cover-up, or in the ..conspiracy that led to the cannabis farm being present.

“I am pleased the jury came to the verdicts they did and that the other defendants admitted their guilt, faced with the overwhelming evidence that we managed to gather in this extremely complex case.”

All eight men will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court later this year.