FOUR men from region were arrested in dawn raids today as part of a drug-crime crackdown which has led to the seizure of millions of pounds-worth of narcotics.

The Operation Roderigo police raids were co-ordinated across Hartlepool, Merseyside and Wales at 6am.

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So far the combined Cleveland and Merseyside and North Wales police operation has led to 15 people serving a combined total of 88 years in prison and the seizure of nearly £14m of drugs.

Today a 29-year-old man from the Ward Jackson area of Hartlepool was arrested inside his detached home, thought to be worth about £350,000.

Elsewhere on Teesside a 29-year-old was arrested from Caistor Drive, followed by a 33-year-old from Arncliffe Gardens and a 36-year-old from Park Square.

A further three arrests were made in Holme House Prison in Stockton. There were also two arrests in Liverpool and two in Wales. The men have all been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs.

The Northern Echo:

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said the raids were the culmination of more than two years’ planning to arrest principal members of an organised crime gang.

Drugs recovered so far amount to:

  • Five kilos of high purity cocaine with a street value estimated around £1 million;
  • 100 litres of amphetamine oil estimated at £12 million;
  • 37 kilos of cannabis estimated at £55,500;
  • 80 kilos of amphetamine estimated at £800,000;
  • 12 kilos of methamphetamine estimated at £120,000.

Detective Sergeant Sarah Robinson, who is leading the investigation, said: “The focus of today’s operation is to arrest the key members of this group to dismantle their supply of drugs in this area. “These individuals are involved in the production and distribution of Class A and Class B controlled drugs throughout the UK on a massive scale.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, who accompanied officers on the early morning raids, said: “’This was a well planned and executed operation over a two year period, tackling high-end criminals who are manufacturing as well as supplying illegal drugs.

“I’m sure residents in Cleveland will join me in congratulating all our officers and staff involved in this operation which sends a very clear signal.”