Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Crime Gang's Pounds 10m of Drugs Seized; Handgun Also Found in Force's Biggest-Ever Haul

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Crime Gang's Pounds 10m of Drugs Seized; Handgun Also Found in Force's Biggest-Ever Haul

Article excerpt

Byline: By BRENDA HICKMAN and GARETH DEIGHAN

MILLIONS of pounds of drugs have been seized by police targeting a crime gang.

Northumbria Police today displayed their biggest-ever haul of class A heroin and amphetamine sulphate worth up to pounds 10m on the streets.

Officers from Northumbria's Crime Operations seized more than 50kg of heroin and a further 13kg of amphetamine sulphate.

Two handguns with silencers were also found in the search after a swoop on a pounds 700,000 family home near Birchwood, Cheshire.

A 32-year-old suspect, believed to me a key player in the racket, was brought back to the North East for questioning and remains in custody today.

Police carried out the strike as part of the ongoing Operation Verona, which is seeking to dismantle the importation and distribution of drugs coming into Tyneside.

But the recovery of this latest haul shows police are determined to target the suspected big players through the chain of supply outside the region.

Last month the Chronicle revealed a series of arrests had been made in the operation involving suspected drugs gang members.

Det Chief Inspector Tim Walker, of Crime Operations, said: "Criminal networks transcend force boundaries and we are prepared to travel and track down offenders involved in the supply of drugs into Northumbria communities.

"We will go outside the region to track anyone involved in the supply chain and those higher up the network. More financial investigations are underway in connection with the arrest in Cheshire.

"This recovery will have a significant impact on the availability of heroin in many North East towns and cities.

"It demonstrates that if you supply drugs we will come after you and if you profit from illegal activities we will seek to strip your financial assets."

It is understood the drugs were found in suitcases in the detached house. …

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