Two people have been arrested and a haul of drugs found stashed in a kitchen freezer in warrants executed as part of a new police operation to tackle organised crime.
This week Northumbria Police joined forces with both Durham and Cleveland in a targeted attack against drugs, burglaries and the gangs who terrorise communities.
It was dubbed Operation Sentinel and saw the three forces working alongside the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU) to prevent organised crime from taking place.
Activity is taking place all across the country as part of the launch and yesterday morning two warrants were executed in Gateshead.
Officers put the doors in of a property thought to be home of a suspected drug dealer and a second address where drugs were believed to have been stashed.
They carried out a search and found a haul of packaged drugs, large quantities of cash and even a canister of pepper spray.
A 23-year-old man was arrested on possession with intent to supply a controlled drug while a 28-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug.
They have both since been released under investigation and now a senior police officer at Northumbria Police has said those suspected to be linked to organised crime should "expect a knock on the door".
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Knox said: “Under the banner of Operation Sentinel we will be carrying a lot of proactive disruption of criminal operations while looking to put offenders before the courts.
“The raids we have carried out today are part of that disruption and have come about because of intelligence fed in to police from our local communities.
“We have made an arrest and seized a quantity of drugs from the property but this is just a small glimpse of the work we are doing to protect the public.
“Our officers are working hard every day to search addresses like this one and identify those profiting from all manner of criminal activity.
“If you are involved in serious offending then you should expect a knock on the door and an early wake-up call because we are serious about bringing you to justice.”
Anyone with information about drug dealing in their local community is encouraged to contact police on 101 or fill in an online reporting form at www.northumbria.police.uk.
You can also report information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.