Further arrests in county lines drugs operation

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Police have today (Thursday, October 4th) arrested two more people as part of an operation to tackle county lines drugs gangs.

A 51 year old man from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs and a 46 year old woman from Blackpool was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. They are both in custody.

Today’s action follows arrests earlier this week and a number of people have been charged.

Sarah Thomas, 43, of Claremont Road, Blackpool, has been charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs and supplying class A drugs. She is due to appear before magistrates on October 23rd.

Jason Gerrand, 44, of Cheltenham Road, Blackpool, has been charged with possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and supplying Class A drugs. He is due before magistrates on November 6th.

Kyle Major, 18, of Fairhurst Street, Blackpool has been charged with two counts of supplying cocaine, three counts of supplying heroin and possession of a controlled drugs of class B – cannabis/ cannabis resin. Jake Ogden, 18, of Orme Street, Blackpool and Jamie Copeland, 34, of Dickson Road, Blackpool have each been charged with three counts of supplying heroin and three counts of supplying crack cocaine. They have made their first appearances at Blackpool Magistrate’s Court.

A fourth man, 30, from Blackpool who was arrested on Monday on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs was released under investigation and two men aged 32 and 39 arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A drug have also been released under investigation.

DCI Rebecca Smith from Blackpool Police said: “The supply of class A drugs from urban hubs like Manchester and Liverpool to towns like Blackpool continues to be widespread within Lancashire and these arrests are part of our continuing effort to tackle this issue.

“County lines gangs pose a significant threat to vulnerable adults and children upon whom they rely to facilitate and conduct their illegal activities. Exposure to this level of gang exploitation has the potential to create both emotional and physical harm.

“We are working closely with the other north west police forces and our partners in local authorities, health and social services to tackle county lines criminal activity so that we can keep our communities safe. Our activities form part of our on-going response to tackle serious and organised crime within our communities and in particular county lines activity. The message I want to send out to these gangs is that Blackpool is not an attractive proposition and that if they continue their criminal activities here they will be identified and action will be taken against them. In addition to the operational aspect of these arrests, a number of warrants were executed within the town in conjunction with staff from within the Community Safety Partnership, ensuring that our response to this issue involves the appropriate agencies.

“As always we need intelligence coming from members of the public to alert us to potential drugs activity so that we can investigate and continue to disrupt these organised gangs. I would encourage anyone who feels that they have information that could help to contact us or Crimestoppers anonymously.”

For more information on what county lines is, what is being done about it and signs to look out for click here

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