Heroin found in wardrobe during £1.3m police crackdown on Essex drug lines

Police have been cracking down on drug supply into north Essex 

Police have been cracking down on drug supply into north Essex - Credit: Essex Police

Heroin and crack cocaine were found in a wardrobe as part of a police crackdown into the supply of class A drugs into north Essex.

Essex Police has revealed officers from its specialist Op Raptor team seized £808,000 worth of drugs and £569,000 in cash throughout 2021.

More than 330 people were charged, with 148 jailed for an average of three and a half years – and more are set to be sentenced in the coming weeks and months.

This includes a number of people who have been charged with drug offences in and around Colchester and Clacton.

A man being arrested as part of the investigation in class A drug supply

A man being arrested as part of the investigation in class A drug supply - Credit: Essex Police

As part of an investigation into drug supply in Clacton, Liam Hughes was arrested in January 2021.

Police then searched Hughes' home in London and seized more than £15,000 worth of crack cocaine and heroin that had been stashed away in a wardrobe.

Hughes was convicted of two counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and sentenced to seven years and six months in jail.

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Another man, Rueben Jacobs, was arrested in Wivenhoe last May and handed five years and three months in jail for two counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and possession of cannabis.

At the start of January this year, officers from Op Raptor North travelled to Liverpool as part of an investigation into the supply of class A drugs from the north west into Clacton.

Op Raptor has been cracking down on drug offences in the Colchester and Clacton areas

Op Raptor has been cracking down on drug offences in the Colchester and Clacton areas - Credit: Essex Police

As a result of that investigation, 34-year-old Benjamin Carter, of Spucewood Close, Liverpool, has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Leslie Major, 54, of Salmon Close, Clacton, has also been charged in connection with the investigation. 

They are both due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court this month. 

And Akinwade Thomas has been charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine following a warrant being carried out in London Road, Colchester, on January 20.

He is due to stand trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on February 18.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Neal Miller, of the Essex Police Serious Violence Unit, said: "The numbers speak for themselves – last year we took hundreds of thousands of pounds of drugs and cash off the streets of Essex.

"The work the teams carry out has a direct impact on drug operations which are set up to prey upon vulnerable people in our communities. It disrupts them, it disrupts their business and above all, it saves lives.

"We have been consistent – drug dealing, and drug dealers, are not welcome in Essex. If you think you won’t get caught and you’re above the law, you’re wrong. 

"In actual fact, you will be oblivious to our teams mounting cases containing overwhelming evidence against you and it is likely you will have few options but to admit your guilt when we put you in front of a court."