Sixteen people have been arrested following 13 early-morning raids across Horden and its neighbouring communities.
At 7.30am today, teams of officers swooped on properties in East Durham in a crackdown on suspected drug dealers.
Over 100 officers were involved in the operation which resulted in 11 men and three women aged between 17 and 44 arrested on suspicion of supplying Class A and Class B drugs.
The action also resulted in one woman, aged 32, being arrested on suspicion of supplying Class B drugs and one man, aged 29, being arrested on suspicion of four counts of shoplifting.
The raids were part of Operation Sledgehammer, Durham Constabulary’s long-running campaign to tackle serious and organised crime.
Homes were searched in Seventh Street, Tenth Street, Eleventh Street, Ash Crescent and Hawthorn Crescent in Horden, Ninth St in Blackhall, Rosedale Terrace, Welfare Close, Murray Street and Braithwaite Road in Peterlee.
I hope our actions send out a clear message that we will not tolerate criminality of this natureInspector Sara Baxter
Inspector Sara Baxter, of Durham Constabulary, said: “This morning’s raids are the culmination of months of hard work and investigation.
“We have listened to residents’ concerns and we appreciate what they have put up with over the last few months.
“I hope our actions send out a clear message that we will not tolerate criminality of this nature in our force area, and we will take action to dismantle, disrupt and destroy these networks.”
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are being deployed to the areas around the target properties to provide reassurance and answer any questions residents may have.
Anyone with any information about potential drug dealing and crime in their area should call Durham Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.