Homes in Sunderland, South Hetton and Easington Lane hit in drugs raids

RECOVERED: A drawer filled with �100,000 in cash was found by Durham Constabulary during raids aimed at cracking down on suspected drug dealers.

RECOVERED: A drawer filled with �100,000 in cash was found by Durham Constabulary during raids aimed at cracking down on suspected drug dealers.

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A DRAWER filled with £100,000 in cash has been seized in early-morning raids on suspected drug dealers.

Nine homes were raided by Durham Constabulary this morning and eight people were arrested for a range of offences including conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering.

OPERATION SLEDGEHAMMER: Police break down a door of a home in Regents Court, South Hetton, as part of an operation to crack down on suspected drug dealers.

OPERATION SLEDGEHAMMER: Police break down a door of a home in Regents Court, South Hetton, as part of an operation to crack down on suspected drug dealers.

The two women and six men, aged between 29 and 74, are currently being questioned by detectives.

In addition to the money, a quantity of what is believed to be controlled drugs was also recovered.

A number of properties in South Hetton were raided including addresses at Regents Court, Front Street, Quinn Square, Fallowfield Terrace and Hedley Terrace.

Homes were also searched at Lillywhite Terrace, Easington Lane; Monuments Building, West Sunniside, Sunderland; Cambridge Road, Sunderland and Osborne Avenue, South Shields.

The action forms part of Operation Sledgehammer, which was launched in 2010 to combat organised crime in County Durham and Darlington.

Detective Chief Inspector Victoria Fuller, head of specialist crime operations for Durham Constabulary, said: “Today’s action is a result of a long-running, ongoing police investigation which aims to tackle those suspected of being involved in drugs offences.

“We are determined to dismantle, disrupt and destroy the networks of those involved in drug dealing who blight our communities.”

Anyone with information about drug-dealing in their area can call the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111.