Police have carried out a string of raids this monrning aimed at targeting a suspected drugs operation which is believed to have been flooding the streets of Hartlepool with heroin and cocaine.
Cleveland Police officers, acting on intelligence, targeted various properties in the town as part of Operation Otley raids on Monday morning.
Specialist teams searched six homes, four in Wynyard Mews, one in Duncan Road and one in Lanark Road, all in the Owton Manor area as they made seven arrests in relation to the possession and supply of Class A drugs, money laundering and other offences.
As well as quantities of the suspected drugs and paraphernalia, weapons, suspected stolen goods and a large amount of cash were also seized.
Officers believe that drugs have been coming into Hartlepool from another area of the country.
Police and colleagues from Hartlepool Police’s Antisocial Behaviour Team were joined by officers from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit.
Sniffer dogs and search teams were used to uncover potential evidence at each site.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Adrian Dack, of Cleveland Police, who was in charge of the operation, said: “This was an extremely successful operation and demonstrates that if members of the public continue to come to us with information, we will act upon it.
“Drug dealing and the associated crime which often goes with it can blight neighbourhoods and spoil quality of life for the law-abiding majority.
“I’d urge anyone with information on drug activity in their community to tell police.
“You may not see action taken that day or even that week but rest assured we will be working hard behind the scenes to put together operations like we’ve run today.”
As part of the operation 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of absconding from prison, a 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, a 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
A 34-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of breaching a community order, a 38-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and a 30-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
All seven were taken into custody at Hartlepool Police Office for questioning following the raids.
Anyone with information on drug dealing is able to contact Cleveland Police via the 101 number or contact Crimestoppers anonymously via its website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org, or by phoning 0800 555 111.