A GANG of suspected drug dealers were caught red-handed when police raided two homes and found them harvesting a £100,000 cannabis farm.

Eight men have been arrested during raids in Elswick on Wednesday morning after detectives at Northumbria Police received intelligence about suspicious behaviour at the address.

It had been reported that large numbers of people had been coming in and out of the properties but nobody seemed to live there.

Officers took the decision to strike at the two adjoining properties on Grainger Park Road and they found suspected cannabis farmers at each house.

The eight men appeared to be in the process of harvesting the drugs that are estimated to be worth more than £100,000.

Following the raid, Detective Sergeant Francis Joyce said the warrants were secured as a result of work carried out as part of Operation Sentinel.

He said: “These arrests are a great example of police working with intelligence received by the local community before taking swift and immediate action.

“The speed at which we were able to carry out these raids means we caught eight suspects in the act and were able to dismantle a significant drugs operation.

“Hundreds of plants have been destroyed and an operation worth more than £100,000 has been dismantled in a matter of hours.

“But it would not be possible without the help of the public and we need residents to be the eyes and ears in our community.

“If you see something that doesn’t look quite right then please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can bring those suspected of preying on vulnerable people into custody.”

The eight men – aged between 19 and 43 – have all since been released under investigation.

Anyone who wants to report information about suspicious behaviour in their community can do so online at the ‘Tell Us Something’ pages of the Northumbria Police website.