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Ten jailed after million-pound drugs haul

Ten people have been jailed after a long-running investigation by police to tackle North East drug dealing and organised crime.

They were arrested in September last year at homes in Newcastle and North Tyneside as part of 'Operation Wexford', which focused particularly in Walker and Longbenton.

Other areas targeted were Newcastle's west end and supply chains across the region in Cleveland and out to Liverpool.

Between £1.5million and £1.75million worth of drugs was seized during the operation's raids last year - including 5kg of cocaine and over 80kg of amphetamine.

15 men were sentenced for their part in the investigation at Newcastle Crown Court today.

"We're pleased these people - who bring crime and disorder to communities - will serve substantial amounts of time in jail for their crimes.

"In this case the people involved used their daily lives - some had businesses and some worked as taxi drivers - in an effort to hide their activities.

"This should send out a warning for others that we have a wide variety of tactics and methods to tackle the people bringing the most misery to neighbourhoods and we will be coming after them. There is no place to hide"

– Detective Superintendent Steve Howes, Northumbria Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit

"Operation Wexford was extremely successful in identifying and arresting these people involved in drug use and supply in the force.

"Drugs have a devastating impact on both the individuals involved in the use and supply and the neighbourhoods where they live, through related crime and disorder.

"Any information we receive from residents about what concerns them the most or about those involved in criminal activity will be acted upon and this is a great demonstration of that.

"In this case information received from the public led to a large scale operation which has seen these people put before the courts and shows information from the community is absolutely vital."

– Chief Superintendent Gary Calvert, Newcastle Area Command