‘Police seized more than £60,000 in cash during raids in Sunderland and Hartlepool’ – drugs trial hears

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DRUGS paraphernalia and £21,000 in cash were found during a police raid in connection with suspected large-scale cocaine ring which was busted by police in Hartlepool, a trial has heard.

Cleveland Police officer David Hodgson told a jury at Teesside Crown Court that he searched a house in Gill Terrace, Sunderland, on May 17 last year.

Pc Hodgson and three colleagues entered the home of Kirk Maddison to execute a search warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at 8.30am.

Giving evidence, the officer said that £17,680 of cash was found in seventeen rolled-up bundles of bank notes, hidden behind a bedside table.

Prosecutor Adrian Dent said several mobile phones, about 400 diazepam tablets, scales and resalable bags were also found aong with a list, which was not discussed further in court. The trial heard that In total, £21,714 in cash was recovered.

Maddison, 32, is accused of conspiring to supply Class A drugs between January and March 2013, along with fellow Sunderland men Paul Lawton, 51, of Dellfield Drive and Robert Stevens, 57, of Hylton Road, both Sunderland.

The court heard the raids came after undercover officers from Cleveland Police’s organised crime unit interrupted what police say was a £44,950 cocaine deal in Hartlepool, linked to the Sunderland men by mobile phone records.

It was alleged that cops swooped on tiny cul-de-sac Blairgowrie Grove on March 19, 2013, recovering a yellow electrical transformer box, the insides of which had been removed and replaced with two house bricks and £44,950 in cash. Traces of cocaine were also found.

David Haggan, 42, of Cranwell Road, David Gallagher, 54, of Wharton Terrace, both in Hartlepool, and Peter Murphy, 52, of Hirst Park Drive, Liverpool, were arrested at the scene.

Prosecutors say Murphy brought drugs to the North East from Merseyside, and that a spanner found on him matched the bolts on the transformer box. His black Vauxhall Astra was seen driving into Hartlepool on automatic numberplate recognition cameras on 40 occasions.

Also on trial is Neil Jackson, 42, of Dowson Road, Michael Jackson, 62, of Kilmarnock Road, and Lee Haggan, 37, of Campbell Road, all of Hartlepool.

All nine deny conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and the trial continues.