Gang, including Harborough district man, delivered up to £1.6 million of drugs to Leicestershire

Liam Martin and Mark Longland
Liam Martin and Mark Longland

Two men, including one from Fleckney, have been sentenced to a total of 11 years for drugs offences for their part in a large scale drugs operation across Leicestershire and West Yorkshire.

Mark Longland, 56, of Cairnsford Road, Leicester, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine) between September 2016 and March 2017 after a seven day trial at Leicester Crown Court.

Liam Martin, 31, of Main Street, Fleckney, pleaded guilty to possession of class A drugs (cocaine and crack cocaine) with intent to supply at the start of the trial.

Longland was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years, with Martin being handed a three-and-a-half-year sentence.

The pair were part of a wider group of criminals involved in the operation, with six of the gang sentenced in December 2017.

The investigation was carried out by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit and involved tracking the movements of the defendants through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and analysis of phone data after their arrests to see who was in contact with whom.

As part of the operation, it was established that a large amount of high purity cocaine was delivered into Leicestershire, thought to be worth between £640,000 and £1.6 million.

Investigator Rosie Wood said: “Following the sentencing of the six men at the end of last year, and a further year of working to get this case in front of the courts, I am very pleased with this result.

“With these men serving lengthy prison sentences, the streets of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are much safer.”

As part of the sentencing hearing, the judge His Honour Judge Ebrahim Mooncey told Longland: “In my view you were connected with the others in the conspiracy, you knew the extent of it and played a significant role in the conspiracy. You had a good understanding of the scale.”