Criminals from Kirklees and Nottinghamshire who orchestrated a Class A drugs ring valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds have been sentenced to prison.
Lee Harris, 44, from Dewsbury, and Liam Gunn, 37, and Callum Lane, 22, from Nottinghamshire, received their sentences at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday, 30th November, for drug-related offences.
The trio faced sentencing after admitting guilt to charges of conspiring to supply Class A drugs.
Detectives from the West Yorkshire Police’s specialist team expressed satisfaction with the sentences, highlighting Harris as a significant figure in organized crime circles, often perceived as ‘untouchable.’
Lee Harris received a nine-year sentence, while Liam Gunn and Callum Lane both received nine and four years, respectively.
The police initiated an investigation into the group’s activities on November 23, 2022, following a drug exchange in Bradford involving a black VW Golf driven by Callum Lane. The vehicle, monitored by the police, sped away from Nottinghamshire officers in the Sutton-in-Ashfield area later that evening. It eventually came to a stop and was abandoned in the Huthwaite area, leading to Lane’s arrest.
During the incident, officers recovered five kilograms of cocaine with a street value of approximately £350,000 from the vehicle. The subsequent investigation by West Yorkshire Police’s Precision Serious and Organised Crime Team revealed that Lane was acting on behalf of organized crime group leaders Lee Harris and Liam Gunn, triggering a broader inquiry into the group’s activities.
In May 2023, a series of coordinated warrants were executed across West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, involving operational support units from both forces and specialist detectives from West Yorkshire. All three men were arrested, and additional Class A drugs, cash, and encrypted telecommunication devices were seized.
DS James Gross of West Yorkshire Police’s Programme Precision Team, 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.”
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.”