Police seize £200,000 worth of illegal drugs in Birtley

Northumbria Police have seized 20kg of illegal drugs in their operation to target organised crime.
Northumbria PoliceNorthumbria Police
Northumbria Police

The drugs which are estimated to be worth around £200,000 were seized in Birtley on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 3 after officers received a report about a suspicious vehicle travelling from Manchester.

The VW Caddy van was suspected to have been linked to organised crime and may have been transporting drugs.

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At around 3.20pm, officers from the Force’s Motor Patrols Department brought the vehicle in question to a stop on the A194 in Birtley.

The 36-year-old male driver was arrested and a search of the vehicle found ten 2kg bags of white powder which have been confirmed as amphetamine.

Detective Inspector Martin Brooks, of Northumbria Police’s Northern CID, praised the traffic officers who stopped the van.

He said: “This is a huge seizure of suspected Class B drugs that would likely have a street value of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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“We believe it was being transported into our Force area and that it would have found its way onto the streets so this is a fantastic result.

“It was a real team effort with officers from our Motor Patrols Department responding to credible intelligence about organised crime.

“They have located the vehicle, bided their time and then performed a box manoeuvre to bring the vehicle to a safe stop.

“It was an excellent piece of police work that has resulted in significant seizures and the arrest of the driver of the vehicle.

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“We are committed to taking illegal substances off the streets and will do everything in our power to disrupt organised crime.”

An investigation into drugs supply is set to continue under Operation Sentinel but police say that this result should reassure the public.

Inquiries into the drugs that were found are ongoing and the man who was arrested remains in police custody at this time.

Anyone who has information about drugs supply, or those involved in organised crime, can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also report it online via the Northumbria Police website.