12 members of High Town drugs gang jailed 40 years

Ringleader: Kane Lee
Ringleader: Kane Lee
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Twelve members of a High Town drugs gang have been jailed for a total of 40 years.

An operation into the supply of crack cocaine and heroin was led by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) over a six-month period between September 2016 and March of this year.

The investigation uncovered a group of young men and juveniles who were ‘employed’ by ringleader Kane Lee, 23, of Ridgway Road, Luton, to deal the drugs using a telephone number known as the ‘Kane Line’.

Officers discovered crude exchanges of the illegal substances were carried out in broad daylight in the street.

Following a series of prior arrests, 10 simultaneous search warrants were carried out in Luton by ERSOU, alongside Bedfordshire Police and the National Crime Agency.

Nine men and three boys under 18 were charged and all pleaded guilty to their respective offences.

The gang were all sentenced today at Luton Crown Court to the following:

• Kane Lee, 23, of Gilderdale, Luton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Sentenced to eight years

• Ladean Lee, 21, of Ridgeway Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Sentenced to six years and eight months

• Derrick Fray, 39, of Ella Court, Luton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Sentenced to five years and four months

• Ryan Kirkpatrick, 34, of Ella Court, Luton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Sentenced to five years and four months

• Ryan Paul, 20, of Bromley Gardens, Houghton Regis, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin) Sentenced to: three years

• Ewan Raeside, 20, of Stephens Close, Luton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Sentenced to two years and eight months

• Lewis Stansfield, 22, of Hanswick Close, Luton, pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs. Sentenced to three years

• Ryan Bowen, 28, of Hitchin Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs. Sentenced to three years

• Luke Hammond, 20, of Turners Road North, Luton, pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs and possession with intent to supply drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Sentenced to three years

• Three youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also received sentences.

o One received a 12 month detention and training order

o Another was sentenced to a 12 month Youth Rehabilitation order, a 90 day community penalty, a three month tagged curfew and 12 months supervision

o The third received a 10 month Youth Rehabilitation order, a 90 day community penalty, a three month tagged curfew and 10 months supervision

Detective Inspector Andy Duddle said: “This was a highly organised drugs supply gang, whose criminality would have had far-reaching, damaging effects on many vulnerable people within our society.

“This is made all the more concerning by the fact that children were recruited into this criminal ring. Drugs ruin lives and contribute to crime and anti-social behaviour, causing significant danger and disruption to neighbourhoods.

“ERSOU is committed to cracking down on organised crime and high-level drugs offences and I am pleased to see such a lengthy shared jail sentence passed down today. This should serve as a warning to all those who become involved in drugs – you will be targeted and dealt with severely by the courts.”