Police Recover Almost Half a Million Pounds Worth of Cannabis in Early Morning Raids
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Almost half a million pounds worth of cannabis was seized during raids across Cleveland in week of hard-hitting, targeted enforcement to tackle serious organised crime and associated criminality that is a blight on our communities and causing serious harm.
Officers were out in force between Monday 12th December and Friday 16th December in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland.
On Tuesday morning, officers from Hartlepool Neighbourhood Teams and the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit swooped on four properties in the town on a very cold and icy morning, targeting suspected criminal gangs growing cannabis.
Three cannabis farms were discovered and dismantled in Stephen Street, Cornwall Street and Mitchell Street. Crops seized from Stephen Street were valued at around £88,000, cannabis was recovered from Cornwall Street worth £116,000 and a large cannabis farm was seized from Mitchell Street, worth £284,000.
One 25-year-old man was arrested at the address in Cornwall Street and has now been charged with production of cannabis. The male was also wanted for immigration offences.
Another 25-year-old man was arrested at the address in Dent Street and has since been charged with production of cannabis. The male was also wanted by Kent Police and has also been charged with production of cannabis in connection with this.
Three victims of modern-day slavery were found during the raid on a property in Mitchell Street, along with the large-scale cannabis production set up. They were all safeguarded by Cleveland Police’s Complex Exploitation Team.
Inspector Zoe Kelsey leading Tuesday’s operation said: “Hartlepool Neighbourhood Policing Team will continue the fight against organised crime in Hartlepool and will not stop until we drive these criminals out of our town.
“We rescued three people from Modern Day Slavery during this operation and seized almost half a million pounds worth of drugs, hitting these criminals where it hurts them most, their pockets.”
“I want to thank the public for providing us with the information that has led to this result and urge people to keep reporting suspicious activity to Cleveland Police.”
Elsewhere across the force, raids were carried out across Middlesbrough on Monday, with Police dog Bert sniffing out crack cocaine hidden in one property during a raid on Monday evening in Costa Street in Newport, Middlesbrough.
A 29-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, along with a 16-year-old boy, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply drugs, with the crack cocaine found by Bert and other drugs paraphernalia recovered.
In Stockton, a drugs warrant was executed in Heslop Street in Thornaby, on Thursday 15th December, and one male was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
There were also closure orders carried out with Stockton Council at Kingston Road ad Durham Road in Stockton.