Proactive work to tackle drug dealing between neighbouring counties leads to ten arrests.
Officers from Nottinghamshire Police County Lines unit had been investigating reports that a group of men and women were involved in the supply of Class A drugs using the business model of a county line from Sheffield into Sutton-in-Ashfield.
County lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines. The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and they will often use violence and coercion to force people to deal their drugs.
As part of the national county lines intensification week, officers from numerous departments across both Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire Police executed several warrants at various addresses in both force areas resulting in the arrest of ten people with cash, phones and drugs being amongst the items seized.
In Sutton-in-Ashfield, officers arrested a 50-year-old woman and two men, aged 38 and 52 on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A when they searched a property in Warnadene Road. They also seized around 20 wraps of suspected heroin, numerous phones, a dagger and household items containing white powder, believed to be class A drugs.
A woman aged 45 and a man aged 35 were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs at a property in Stoneyford Road where numerous phones, scales and wraps of suspected class A drugs were recovered .
Another woman, aged 30, was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A and class B drugs. She was also arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon after officers recovered a machete when they searched the property in Elder Street.
In South Yorkshire, the joint effort led to the search of five properties.
Officers seized a quantity of what is believed to be heroin and crack cocaine, as well as around £5,000 in cash. Also seized was a quantity of high value designer clothing and two vehicles from a property in Mather Walk, Sheffield. Three men, aged 18, 19 and 22 were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
An 18-year old man was also arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs in Gray Close, Rotherham, and numerous phones were recovered.
Another property in Nethershire Lane, Sheffield, was searched and officers recovered a mobile phone and a quantity of white tablets.
All ten of the suspects were also arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
Detective Inspector Nikki Smith of Nottinghamshire Police who led the operation said: “This is a national issue and we continue to work hard to identify criminal gangs, take out the drug dealing line and bring the offenders to justice.
“Nottinghamshire Police’s proactive county lines team is working closely with the force’s proactive Operation Reacher and neighbourhood policing teams to tackle this problem identity the suspects and protect young or vulnerable people at risk of exploitation.
“Criminals working in the County Lines business models cause a significant amount of harm through the exploitation of vulnerable people, often using children to supply class A drugs. These groups also spread misery among the communities in which they operate, and this is why it is a priority for the force to target and disrupt those believed to be involved in county lines criminality.
“These arrests are a really positive development, and it is testament to the hard work, dedication and teamwork shown by officers in both Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire at the point of enforcement following an investigation that had been running for several months. It just goes to show the importance and effectiveness of collaboration when tackling this.
“We continue to do everything in our power to safeguard our communities and vulnerable young people against organised drug crime and crack down hard on drug dealers looking to prey on others.”
The force continues to respond to intelligence and seek opportunities to disrupt criminal activity linked to county lines.
Anyone who has information regarding drug dealing in their area, is urged to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or dial 999 in an emergency.