A 30-year-old man was arrested in South Tyneside after police staged a series of region-wide early morning raids on suspected drug dealers.
Officers from Northumbria Police swooped on the property in North Street, Jarrow, at 6am on Monday on behalf of Durham Constabulary.
I hope this action sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate criminality of this nature.Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Lawrence
At the same time, police were also raiding properties in Consett, Burnopfield, Shotley Bridge, Leadgate, Bishop Auckland, Spennymoor, Ushaw Moor and Stanley, at the same time.
Addresses in Liverpool were also hit by officers.
The raids were part of Operation Sledgehammer, the force’s long-running campaign to tackle serious and organised crime.
It involved more than 150 officers and support staff and led to 11 men aged between 24 and 44 and three women aged between 37 and 61 being arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs. All have since been released under police investigation.
The arrests also included a 30-year-old man, from Jarrow, on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and money laundering.
He was also released under police investigation.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Lawrence, from Durham Constabulary, said: “The operation has been an overwhelming success.
“The raids are the culmination of months of hard work and investigation which would not have been possible without the support of local people who have come forward with valuable pieces of intelligence.
“I hope this action sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate criminality of this nature in our force area, and we will take action to dismantle, disrupt and destroy these networks.”
Following the raids, police community support officers were in the areas targeted by police to provide reassurance to residents.
Anyone with any information about drug dealing and crime in their area should call on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.