A police operation in East Sussex has disrupted organised crime groups seeking to distribute drugs.
In dawn raids at addresses in Eastbourne, Hastings and London on Wednesday 4 May, Sussex Police, supported by London's Metropolitan Police and Surrey Police, led the execution of 19 drugs warrants, resulting in 18 arrests on suspicion of involvement in the supply of Class A drugs.
Around 5,000 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin were seized during the raids, as well as 7kg of cocaine, 2kg of heroin.
Police also found £300,000 in cash and four phones suspected of being used in the running of county drugs lines between Sussex, Surrey and Norwich.
Chief Superintendent Katy Woolford, divisional commander for East Sussex, said: "This complex and well-coordinated operation has resulted from months of planning and intelligence development, in which our colleagues from London have played a key role.
"This effort has led to a substantial quantity of dangerous Class A drugs being seized, removing them from circulation and protecting people from harm.
"There is much work still to be done, but we believe this activity will significantly affect the ability of groups who seek to bring drugs into our communities."
Over the past two years co-ordinated police activity against dealers has increased, contributing to more than 150 county lines being disrupted, and to arrests of more than 260 individuals.
Officers now analyse data from mobile phones used by dealers to buy and sell class-A drugs. This information is critical to investigators, helping them target the most significant members of organised crime groups and ensuring longer term disruption.
Chief Superintendent Woolford added: "County lines and other methods of drug dealing continue to be a threat across Sussex and in many other force areas, but we are making inroads as these results demonstrate."
Detective Chief Inspector Dan Mitchell, from the Met Police, said: “We have been working hand in glove with Sussex Police in order to investigate county lines drug dealers operating out of London into more rural areas.
“Our collaboration with Sussex has resulted in 18 dangerous individuals being arrested for serious offences and we will continue to work together in order to bear down on drug dealing and the violence it causes."