A WOMAN has been arrested in Stockton during raids on a number of addresses across the country this morning by police as they attempt to tackle the problem of drugs in prison.

The raids are part of Operation Exmouth, a two year investigation into drug supplying and money laundering.

It was launched after 6kg of Spice, worth £750,000, was discovered in HMP Holme House during a cell search in July 2017.

One woman was arrested after police raided a house in High Newham Road, in the Hardwick area of Stockton.

As a result of this investigation, properties were targeted today in Skelton, Grangetown and Hardwick in Cleveland, Easington Lane, Ashington, and Blakelaw in the Northumbria area and Cheetham Street and Oldham Road in Manchester.

Four women were arrested, aged 29, 31, 39 and 45, and five men, aged 29,29, 31, 39 and 53, and all remain in police custody.

All nine targets of the operation were arrested by police.

Detective Inspector Tony Cross said: “The arrest phase of this complex investigation has only been achieved through collaborative working between the police, Her Majesty’s Prison Service and other agencies. We welcome and will act upon any intelligence received from the public in order to tackle serious and organised crime and protect the public from harm.”