A pair of drug dealers who supplied more than £1.5m worth of illegal substances have been jailed for more than 30 years. 

Stephen York and Peter Harrison appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday (November 17) where they were sentenced for their roles in a lucrative conspiracy which has already seen three men jailed for more than 34 years.

The pair were caught out when law enforcement infiltrated their encrypted devices and uncovered evidence of their offending.

The Northern Echo: Stephen YorkStephen York (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

As part of the investigation, which ran during the spring of 2020, officers at Northumbria Police established York had been involved in the supply of 23kgs of cocaine worth £977,500 and 45kgs of cannabis worth £189,000. 

Partner in crime, Harrison, had also been involved in the commercial supply of the same drugs, valued at more than £500,000.

Officers observed York posing as an electrician and travelling around the area to meet associates and established Harrison led a network of lower-level cocaine dealers.

The Northern Echo: Peter HarrisonPeter Harrison (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

The investigation also found the pair used a number of safe houses to process and distribute Class A drugs and grow cannabis.

When police executed a warrant at the West Allotment Social Club in June 2020 – a total of £123,450 cash was recovered.

It was later found £40,000 of this was Harrison’s, with the rest belonging to York and messages revealing the pair had intended to buy property together. 

The Northern Echo: A cannabis farm uncovered by police officersA cannabis farm uncovered by police officers (Image: NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

During his arrest on January 14, 2021, York was found in possession of a number of new, replacement encrypted devices for his associates.

Harrison was arrested the following month and they were later charged.

York, 42, of Falkirk, Killingworth admitted conspiracy to supply Class A (Cocaine) and Class B drugs (Cannabis) and was jailed for 19 years and 10 months.

Harrison, 36, of Ennderdale Road in Walker, admitted conspiracy to supply Class A (Cocaine) and Class B drugs (Cannabis) and was jailed for 13 years and six months.

They are the latest to be jailed for their roles in the same conspiracy which has recently seen David Borley, Gentjan Kaloti and William Hunter put behind bars and their sentences now bring the overall total to more than 66 years.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Marc Michael said: “Organised crime groups like this ruin our communities because they sell illegal drugs, manipulate and exploit people and bring the threat of violence and anti-social behaviour.

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“This network was supplying large quantities of illicit drugs, making huge sums of money and doing so while under the radar, using encrypted devices.

“York and Harrison knew exactly what they were doing and the severity of their offending is reflected in the sentences handed down. This has been a long and complex investigation and I would like to thank those officers and staff, as well as our criminal justice partners, who have helped secure the right result.

“As part of Operation Sentinel, we will continue our clampdown on organised crime and would ask our communities to work with us by reporting suspicious activity to police and sharing their concerns.”