Detectives have seized a total of 22,000 pills and arrested four people as part on an ongoing investigation into the illegal importation of drugs on Wearside.
Yesterday morning (Wednesday) officers from Northumbria Police joined forces with the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) and officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to carry out targeted strikes on three properties linked to the large scale importation of various Class C drugs from India.
The warrants were secured after a number of packages containing a total of 16,000 pills were intercepted by the UK Border Force. A further haul of 4,000 pills were recovered following the strikes at properties on Pinewood Road, Rockingham Road and Colombo Road.
And, if that wasn’t enough, while officers were in attendance at the premises on Pinewood Road, another package of around 2,000 pills was delivered.
The seizures included a large quantity of Alprazolam – better known by its brand name Xanax – and Zopiclone, a sleeping pill used to help with conditions like anxiety. Mobile phones and large quantities of cash were also recovered.
Detective Sgt Hayley Douglass, from NERSOU’s disruption team led the operation and praised the officers involved for their hard work.
“It’s despicable that criminals will try and turn a profit from the illegal supply of medicines without a single thought given to the health and wellbeing of those who buy them,” she said.
“We work hard to protect our communities from the impact of serious and organised crime and that also includes working with our partners to safeguard vulnerable drug users and reduce the number of drug-related deaths.
“We will continue to do this and to tackle all forms of drug supply under the banner of Operation Sentinel – our joined up approach to tackling serious and organised crime.”
A 30-year-old woman and three men, aged 41, 42, and 58 were all arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import a Class C drug and have since been released under Investigation.
Anyone with information about the illegal sale or supply of drugs can report this on the Northumbria Police website or via independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously.