Sunderland and Hartlepool men among nine to face charges over conspiracy to supply heroin

Nine men have been charged with conspiring to supply heroin following a large-scale operation which saw police raid 15 properties across the north of England.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 9:48 am
A photo released by Northumbria Police following the raids, which led to heroin with an estimated value of £600,000 being recovered by the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU).
A photo released by Northumbria Police following the raids, which led to heroin with an estimated value of £600,000 being recovered by the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU).

More than 160 officers carried out the dawn raids across Sunderland, Durham and Merseyside which recovered an estimated £600,000 worth of heroin, more than £25,000 in cash and six luxury cars.

Of those arrested, two men and one woman were released under investigation and nine men charged with various drugs offences appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court this week.

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A container filled with cash found during the operation by North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU).

They are:

*Leighton Hackett, 35, of Hesledon, Hartlepool, was charged with conspiracy to supply heroin and cannabis between July 1 and November 29

*Sonny Thompson, 25, of Otto Terrace, Thornhill, and Jake Lee, 19, of Mayfield Avenue, Fulwell, Sunderland, were also charged with conspiring to supply the class A and B drugs as well as producing cannabis.

*John Duggan, 47, of Palmstead Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, was charged with conspiring to supply heroin.

A door in the aftermath of the raids carried out by North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU).

*John Nelson, 48, of Morton Crescent, Fence Houses, was charged with conspiring to supply heroin and possession with intent to supply.

Four of men arrested in Liverpool also appeared at the same court charged with conspiring together to supply class A drugs.

They were:

*Yoann Lou, 36, of Wharncliffe Road

*Martin Pearson, 30, of Aspes Road

*Calum Duffy, 22, of Classic Road

*Gareth Lewis, 41, of Minver Road, who was also charged with possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.

All nine have been remanded in custody until Friday, January 3, when they are due to appear before Newcastle Crown Court for the first time.

Anyone who wants to report information about drug dealing can do so by calling 101, reporting online at the Northumbria Police website or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.