Suspects arrested in crime gang operation given bail

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MEN and women arrested as part of dawn raids in an operation aimed at suspected drug dealers have been bailed.

More than £100,000 in cash was seized during pre-planned strikes by Durham Constabulary as part of Operation Sledgehammer, which aims to tackle organised crime.

A house in Osborne Avenue in South Shields was among the nine addresses searched.

The raids took place Wednesday morning and eight people were arrested for a range of offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering.

The two women and six men, aged between 29 and 74, have now been released on bail until next month as inquiries continue.

In addition to the money, a quantity of what is believed to be controlled drugs was also recovered.

Homes in Regents Court, Front Street, Quinn Square, Fallowfield Terrace and Hedley Terrace in South Hetton were targeted in the operation, as well as others in Lillywhite Terrace, Easington Lane; Monuments Building, West Sunniside, Sunderland and Cambridge Road, Silksworth.