Cash and drugs haul seized in new crackdown on ‘county lines’ gangs

An assortment of the drugs, cash and weapons discovered by Essex Police Picture: ESSEX POLICE

An assortment of the drugs, cash and weapons discovered by Essex Police Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: ESSEX POLICE

Drugs and cash have been seized as part of a new police operation to drive out London dealers plying their trade in north Essex.

Code-named Operation Smuggler, the Essex Police initiative aims to use a mixture of tactics to clamp down on criminals attempting to sell drugs in the north of the county.

Last week, a total of 11 people were arrested in Colchester and Clacton in connection with a range of drug-related offences, while police carried out 30 stop and searches.

Among the discoveries were 60 wraps of what was believed to be Class A drugs, along with a four figure sum of cash, found by the North Op Raptor team after officers executed a warrant at an address on Wellesley Road, Clacton on Tuesday, March 12.

Three people – a 25-year-old man, a 43-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman – were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

Another warrant executed at an address on Hayes Road, Clacton resulted in the arrest of a 39-year-old woman for failing to appear at court in connection with a drug offence.

On Wednesday, March 13 a man from Colchester was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs after the car he was travelling in failed to stop for officers. Police arrested the 31-year-old after the car finally came to a stop on Mersea Road and the driver fled.

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Meanwhile, in Colchester’s Castle Park, two men were arrested on suspicion of drug, weapon and assault offences, after police found an imitation firearm.

Detective Superintendent Leighton Hammett said: “Last week saw our officers build upon some really good work following the launch of Op Smuggler.

“We will continue to carry out increased covert and high visibility patrols both in Tendring and Colchester, targeting individuals that our intelligence suggest are involved in drug dealing activity.

“We’ll be gathering even more information and taking action against those involved in crime.

“We are really keen to hear from anyone in the community who has concerns or information around drug activity or weapons within the area.”

To report crime, call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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