On Tuesday, 18 June 2019, eight properties and businesses were raided by Essex Police resulting in the arrests of twenty people and seizure of cash, weapons, and drugs.
The crackdown by Essex police on county lines drug dealings across Braintree and Colchester was done in collaboration with Kent Police as part of a crackdown on knife crime. Officers who were part of the operation revealed that several illegal possessions, including a combat knife, suspected Class A drugs, and weapons, were found in the properties raided.
The police said that everyone arrested in the operation is still in custody for a number of alleged offenses including possession with the aim of supplying drugs, conspiracy to supply drugs, the supply of drugs and immigration offenses.
Drugs gangs in County line, who are typically based in urban areas, travel to smaller towns and rural areas to sell drugs. The gangs which are said to be connected by a network of mobile phone lines usually force minors and vulnerable adults to work for them.
Almost £50,000 cash was found alongside drugs in one of the properties, in Mary Ruck Way, Braintree.
Life or lives are potentially torn apart by each knife carried and used as well as the sale of every wrap of drugs, according to Det Supt Stuart Hopper, of Essex Police. He said they will continue to work with the Kent police to ensure criminals do not have free movement and will not hesitate to raid properties and arrest people connected with criminality. Vulnerable people will also be safeguarded against criminal acts, he said.
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