Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

11 Arrested in Dawn Raid; Police Target Suspected Drug Dealers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

11 Arrested in Dawn Raid; Police Target Suspected Drug Dealers

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty

SUSPECTED drug dealers have been taken off the streets in early morning raids.

And police seized more than pounds 150,000 worth of illegal substances when they swooped on 11 homes, yesterday morning.

In one of the biggest operations of its kind ever staged by Northumbria Police 130 officers raided properties in Birtley, Gateshead, and Washington.

Individuals suspected of being involved in the supply of Class A drugs were targeted in the initiative, code-named Operation Hornet.

A convoy of 22 marked police vehicles moved into Birtley around 7am, yesterday. And officers simultaneously smashed their way into 10 homes in the town, leading occupants out in handcuffs.

The operation then moved on to Lomond Close in Washington where a large house was searched and cars including a black BMW M3 and Nissan Micra were seized by police.

The search also included a top-of-therange BMW that was parked outside the house behind decorative wrought iron gates.

Eight men and two women were arrested in Birtley, while one man was arrested in Washington.

The suspects were questioned while their homes were searched.

And police seized 2kg of cocaine with a street value of around pounds 100,000, 60 kilos of cannabis worth around pounds 40,000 and 1kg of amphetamines, with a street value of pounds 10,000. Yesterday's raids came as a result of an investigation lasting many months, sparked by tip-offs from members of the of the public And Gateshead area commander Chief Supt Graham Davis said the operation was a huge success.

"Yesterday's arrest phase of the operation came as a result of more than six months of intelligence gathering, and has been huge success.

"We got everyone we set out to get," he said. "What we did is go to the core of neighbourhood policing, the community have been informing us of the problems of supply of drugs in the Birtley area. …

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