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Drugs gang jailed after £350,000 of cocaine found in car boot

Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire criminals who masterminded a Class A drugs ring worth hundreds of thousands of pounds have been jailed.

Liam Gunn, aged 37, and Callum Lane, 23, from the Ashfield area of Nottinghamshire, together with Lee Harris, 44, from Dewsbury, were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday (30 November).

All three were sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A Drugs offences.

Detectives from both forces welcomed the sentences and said Harris in particular was seen as a significant figure in organised crime circles who was viewed as ‘untouchable.’

Harris, of Castle Crescent, Dewsbury, was sentenced to nine years in jail.

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20231204 lee harris callum lane liam gunn custody photos

Liam Gunn, of Acorn View, Kirkby-in-Ashfield was sentenced to nine years

Callum Lane, of Willow Gardens, Sutton-in-Ashfield was sentenced to four years.

Police began to investigate the group’s activities on November 23rd 2022 after a drugs exchange was spotted in Bradford involving a black VW Golf driven by Lane.

The car was monitored and made off at speed from Nottinghamshire Police officers in the Sutton-in-Ashfield area later that evening.

The vehicle finally came to stop and was abandoned in Huthwaite, with Lane located and arrested nearby.

Officers also recovered five kilos of cocaine with a street value of about £350,000 from the vehicle.

An investigation by West Yorkshire Police’s Precision Serious and Organised Crime Team identified Lane was acting on behalf of organised crime group heads Lee Harris and Liam Gunn – resulting in a wider investigation beginning into the group’s activity.

In May 2023 those investigations culminated in a series of coordinated warrants which were executed across West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire utilising operational support units from both forces.

All three men were arrested with further Class A drugs, cash and encrypted telecommunication devices were located.

Detective Inspector James Oakton, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:

“Criminal activity does not stop at county borders, which is why law enforcement always requires close cooperation between different forces.

“In this case, teamwork between Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire has allowed us to bring this drugs gang to justice.

“Criminals like Harris, Gunn and Lane bring misery to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities in order to line their own pockets.

“They believed they were untouchable but did not count on the determination and skill of officers who worked on the case across two forces.

“I would like to commend the Nottinghamshire officers on patrol that day whose efforts in pursuing this vehicle allowed us to recover a very large quantity of Class A drugs and gather vital information to help detectives crack the case.”

Detective Sergeant James Gross, of West Yorkshire Police, said:

“We welcome the  sentencing of these men for their roles in what was a significant and highly organised drugs conspiracy operating between West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.  

“Harris in particular held a notable position within organised crime groups and was viewed as something of an untouchable figure. He utilised a series of sophisticated methods to frustrate law enforcement and to maintain his operation security. 

“A painstaking investigation utilising specialist departments working collaboratively across county borders discovered evidence to prove his role alongside Gunn and bring both men plus their conspirators to justice.” 

He added: “These convictions could not have been brought without the closest co-operation between police officers in West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire and demonstrates the capabilities both forces possess to combat this kind of organised criminality.”

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