TWO men were arrested as police raided a farm and homes as part of an operation into suspected organised crime.
Operation Ohio centred on an investigation into suspected stolen plant machinery and tools.
Pesspool Hall Farm and Pesspool Hall Farm Cottage in Haswell and a house in Milton Grove, Shotton Colliery, were targeted in yesterday’s raids.
Two men, aged 60 and 26, were arrested on suspicion of money laundering and were questioned by detectives at Peterlee Police Station. They have now been bailed until the new year.
A total of 21 quad bikes and motorcycles along with a laptop, mobile phones, manhole covers, engines and vehicle parts were seized under the warrants.
The action was sparked by information from the community and also saw officers from the Environment Agency and planners from Durham County Council take part in the operation.
A leaflet drop was carried out in the villages in the aftermath of the searches to let residents and businesses know the raids had been carried out.
Deputy Chief Constable Mike Barton met with officers and members of the community, which included councillors, as they were briefed ahead of the strikes.
Pc Jonathan Keenan, beat bobby for Haswell and South Hetton, added: “This action is part of a long-running intelligence-led investigation.”
Coun Robin Todd, who represents the Shotton ward on the county council and is a member of South Hetton Parish Council, said: “I think the people of Haswell will be pleased to see the police taking this action.”
The raids were linked to Operation Sledgehammer which focuses on those suspected of being involved in a network of criminal activity.