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Twelve people from Durham, Bishop Auckland and Northumberland areas arrested in major drug raids
TWELVE people were in custody last night after police launched dawn raids against suspected criminal gangs.
More than 200 police yesterday raided ten houses in and around Durham City, three in and around Bishop Auckland and four in the Northumbria Police area, including at Tweedmouth, near Berwick.
Nine men and three women were arrested.
The raids were part of Durham Police’s Operation Sledgehammer, aimed at tackling organised crime.
A substantial amount of cash was recovered, and searches continued at some of the properties last night.
Inspector Steve Norris said: “We are determined to tackle organised crime groups across the force area by targeting people who are suspected to be involved in a network of criminal activity.
“Today’s strike is the culmination of a long-running intelligence-led operation, made possible as a result of support from people in our communities who have come to us with information we have been able to act upon.”
Deputy Chief Constable Mike Barton said: “I want every drug dealer to worry that the next person they sell to is an undercover cop.
“Every day I have got undercover cops in the county buying drugs from drug dealers to build cases against them and send them to prison until they quit their lifestyle.”
Those arrested were: * A 37-year-old man and a 28- year-old woman at Heron’s Court, Durham City, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs.
* A 59-year-old woman at Goodyear Crescent, Durham City, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs.
* A 41-year-old man at Ridding Road, Esh Winning, County Durham, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs.
* A 39-year-old man at Fir Avenue, Durham City, on suspicion of money-laundering.
* A 36-year-old man at Park Road, Witton Park, near Bishop Auckland, on conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
* A 26-year-old man at Walker Drive, Bishop Auckland, on conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
* A 35-year-old man at Gudmunson Avenue, Bishop Auckland, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
* A 25-year-old man at Prior Road, Tweedmouth, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class B drugs.
* A 54-year-old woman at Bradford Crescent, Durham City, on suspicion of money laundering.
* A 38-year-old man at Valley View, Ushaw Moor, near Durham City, on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
* A 44-year-old man at Mill House Court, Durham City, on suspicion of possession of controlled drugs.