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Craig Moran and the gang behind Nottingham’s rise in gun crime

Craig Moran and the gang behind Nottingham’s rise in gun crime

Police have released pictures of the gang who were convicted along with Craig Moran of causing a spike in gun crime in Nottingham. Moran, who was a leading figure in organised crime in the 2000s, was one of 10 people convicted for their part in the operation which saw guns and drugs flow into the Bestwood estate via Salford in Manchester.

In October 2017, six months after 43-year-old Moran’s release from prison, Nottinghamshire Police launched an operation after a sawn-off pump-action shotgun was discovered in a raid on a house in Leybourne Drive. This led detectives to uncover a large drug and weapons pipeline between Salford and Nottingham, which included Moran.




Police said it became increasingly obvious he was primarily responsible for bringing guns and drugs into the Bestwood area while Jodie Danson, 43, ran the Salford side of the operation. The DNA of Moran’s cousin Callum Sims was found on the shotgun, while his nephew, Lee Hudson, was found with a cannabis grow and 131 rounds of ammunition at his home.

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Moran was convicted after being extradited from Dubai in 2020 following an international manhunt. Criminal proceedings in relation to the operation, which included nine others, ended in June.

The defendants convicted in the operation were:

  • Craig Moran, 43, formerly of Revelstoke Way, Rise Park, Nottingham, admitted conspiracy to transfer a prohibited weapon, conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and concealing/disguising/concealing/transferring/removing criminal property

  • Lee Hudson, 26, formerly of Wendling Gardens, Bestwood, Nottingham, admitted possessing ammunition without a firearms certificate, conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, producing Class B drugs, possessing Class B drugs with intent and possession of criminal property

  • Callum Sims, 37, formerly of Morrell Bank, Bestwood, Nottingham, admitted conspiracy to transfer a prohibited weapon, conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession of a weapon capable of discharging a harmful liquid/gas/electrical incapacitating device

  • Calum Kirk, 25, of Whitton Close, Bestwood, Nottingham, admitted affray

  • Darren Bexon, 38, formerly of Huggett Gardens, Top Valley, Nottingham, admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply a Class A drug and conspiracy to produce a controlled Class B drug.

  • Richard Jones, 51, formerly of Edgeware Road, Newton Heath, Manchester, admitted possession of ammunition without a certificate, possession of a Class B drug with intent, possession of a Class A drug, possession of a Class B drug and two counts of possession of a firearm

  • Dean Hudson, 25, of Totland Drive, Nottingham, admitted producing a Class B drug and possessing Class B drugs with intent

  • Jodie Danson, 43, formerly of Edmund Street, Salford, Manchester, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess, purchase or acquire prohibited weapons without authorisation, conspiracy to supply a controlled Class A drug and conspiracy to supply a controlled Class B drug.

  • Craig Bailey, 35, of Watkins Avenue, Salford, Manchester, admitted taking part in the criminal activities of an organised crime group

  • John Newns, 43, of Asgard Drive, Salford, Manchester, admitted conspiracy to supply a controlled Class B drug and to produce a Class B drug