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West Bridgford police raid boat on Nottingham Canal and two homes making three arrests

Three suspects have appeared in court after police raided a boat and two residential addresses during a co-ordinated operation to crack down on suspected drug dealing.

Nottinghamshire Police’s Underwater Search Unit and West Bridgford Operation Reacher team joined forces to execute a warrant on a small pleasure cruiser moored on the Nottingham Canal.

The early morning raid was in response to intelligence suggesting the vessel may be linked to drug dealing.

A team of officers stealthily approached in a rigid inflatable boat while Operation Reacher colleagues advanced from a nearby towpath before forcing entry to the boat using a crowbar.

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A police drone was also deployed during the operation, which took place on Friday (15 September 2023), and support was provided by the force’s tactical support group, CID and intelligence departments.

No-one was on board and searches proved to be negative, however, three men were arrested on suspicion of drug offences after the City South Operation Reacher team hit an address in Leighton Street, St Ann’s, at the same time.

Officers seized quantities of suspected crack cocaine, heroin, and cannabis along with firearm ammunition, a large quantity of cash, and mobile phones after executing a warrant.

A simultaneous search of a third premises, in Carnarvon Place, Bingham, turned out to be negative.

Ben Bond, aged 32, Jephret Torevasei, aged 30, and Travis Lehmer, aged 29, all of Leighton Street, St Ann’s, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday (18 September 2023).

Bond is charged with possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs, namely crack cocaine and heroin, acquiring/using/possessing criminal property, and possessing ammunition for a firearm when prohibited for life.

Lehmer is charged with possession with intent to supply a Class A drug (crack cocaine), possession of a Class B drug (cannabis), possession of ammunition for a firearm when prohibited for life, and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a knuckleduster with a dagger, in a private place.

Torevasei is charged with possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs, namely crack cocaine and heroin.

They were all remanded in custody and are next due to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on 16 October 2023.

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