Cumbria Police have arrested 22 people as part of a crackdown on County Lines drug supply in the south of the county.
Warrants were conducted in Barrow, Coventry and London this week as part of a proactive operation that has led to 10 people being charged with offences.
The following charges have been made
- Natasha Wharton, aged 29, of Worcester Street, Barrow, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Robert Russell, aged 42, of Worcester Street, Barrow, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Carl Platts, aged 37, of Ship Street, Barrow, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Kelsey Knibbs, aged 38, Watergarth, Walney, Barrow, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Ross Johnson, aged 21, of Argyle Street, Barrow, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Princewill Enaruba, aged 24 , of Signals Drive, Coventry, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Richard Cleary, aged 51, of Jonathan Road, Coventry, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Yasmin Ho, aged 45, of Meetings View, Barrow, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
- Dean Cummings, aged 43, of Romney Road, Barrow in Furness, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs.
They were all due to appear at barrow Magistrates Court today (9th January 2019)
Additionally, Deborah Abolaji, aged 20, of Spalding Court, Roberts Way, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, is charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs. He has been bailed until the 16th of January 2019 to appear at Barrow Magistrates Court.
Temporary Chief Superintendent, Rob O’Connor said: “This operation has been around ten months in the planning and was put in place following the 14 drugs deaths seen in Barrow from December 2017 onwards. We understand that rightly, county lines drug dealing is a concern for the Barrow community and we are working hard to disrupt the supply chain from other areas of the UK to Barrow.
“The fact we have travelled and arrested people from as far away as Coventry and London shows the determination we have to stem the supply of drugs into South Cumbria. The arrests over the last couple of days have seen Class A drugs seized with a street value of several thousands of pounds, as well as several thousands of pounds of cash also recovered.
“I make no apologies for the fact that my officers over the last two days have forced entry to the homes of suspects and given them a rude awakening by dragging them out of their beds at six in the morning. People who deal drugs bring misery to others lives, and sadly we have seen too many people in South Cumbria die due to drug misuse – too many people become victims of crime committed by addicts who break into people’s houses and cars to feed their addictions.
“Over the years we have seen significant custodial sentences handed down by the Courts to people involved in drug supply, and once again our actions on Operation Horizon show that drug dealing will not be tolerated in South Cumbria. This week’s operation underlines that we will travel far and wide to bring people to justice.
“Thousands of hours of operational officer input has been undertaken to-date on Operation Horizon and they are hours the public do not see due to the sensitive nature of covert police investigations like this.
“I would like to thank the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, the Metropolitan Police Service and West Midlands Police for their support throughout the operation. Working with other forces and partner agencies has allowed us to undertake a high volume of warrants simultaneously, which is imperative for the operation’s success.
“There is a great sense of community in Barrow and some fantastic support services available. I would urge anyone affected by drug use or county line drug dealing to contact police on 101, or contact services such as Unity or The Well or other providers.
“The proactive work has been made possible, in part, thanks to the introduction of 25 new police officers dedicated to community policing, with proactive officers in Barrow having been tasked with aspects of the operation.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “This has been a superb operation by Cumbria Police working with other forces. The operation highlights the significant unseen police work which is happening on a daily basis right across the county. I know that controlling illegal drug use and supply is a significant concern for the public and this operation is but one example of the work the police are doing to deal robustly with those who try to deal drugs into Cumbria, the message to drug dealers is that Cumbria is not an easy option and the police will pursue anyone who deals in this destructive trade in our county.
“Some of the additional money that we’re asking for from the community in the council tax precept this year will allow us to build on the investment we have already made in our policing service. It will also go into increasing resources and capability in the areas which involve more ‘behind the scenes’ type of work, for instance carrying out criminal investigations and managing complex case work involving County Line gangs and organised crime networks, such as today’s Operation Horizon.”