Six face drug charges after undercover op

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SIX people have appeared in court facing drugs charges after a covert police operation.

Undercover officers used secret recording devices in a bid to track down dealers during the inquiry, codenamed Operation Sledgehammer.

Durham Police made 11 arrests after a series of dawn raids following the operation.

Prosecutor Geoff Mason told Newcastle Crown Court: “This is an undercover operation where the officers concerned had cameras in their possession and were wired for sound.”

Six men appeared in the dock yesterday, all accused of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Anthony Hall, 20, of Seaham Road, Gareth Coates, 19, of Wordsworth Avenue West, David Farrow, 18, of Gregory Terrace, Daniel Quinnell, 26, of Shakespeare Street, David Rubery, 19, of Kirkstone Close, all in Houghton, and Ian Coates, 36, of no fixed address, were not asked to enter pleas during the hearing.

Their case will be back in court on October 15.

A trial date has been listed for November 25.

Neville Watson, of South View Terrace, Houghton, was also charged as a result of the same operation.

However, he did not attend the hearing.

Judge John Evans issued a warrant for the arrest of the 34-year-old.

Farrow, Quinnell and Rubery were granted conditional bail until the next hearing.

The other three men were remanded in custody.