Cheshire Police continues crackdown on County Lines with over 100 years in jail time
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Over 100 years in jail time, multiple arrests, drugs, cash, and weapons seized in 12 months since the launch of Operation Apollo by Cheshire Police.
Drugs, cash, weapons, and luxury items seized - along with multiple arrests and convictions made since the launch of Operation Apollo one-year ago.
In November 2022, Op Apollo was launched by the Cheshire Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) in a bid to proactively target County Lines operating across the county.
A year on, 87 people have been arrested as a result of the work carried out by a dedicated team of detectives, and 70 County Lines gangs have been torn down.
28 of those arrested have already been jailed for over 100 years for a variety of drug offences, with a further 40 waiting for their cases to be finalised at court - four of which have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
Detectives enlisted a range of tactics throughout the year to arrest and remand those involved in the drug supply and put them before the courts.
The team have also seized more than £70,000 worth of Class A drugs and over £35,000 in cash.
Thousands of pounds worth of luxury goods, including sports cars, designer clothing and jewellery were also recovered.
Detective Inspector Robert Balfour, from Cheshire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “In the last 12 months, a dedicated team of detectives have focused on pursuing individuals engaged in the supply and distribution of illegal drugs within Cheshire.
“Since the launch of Operation Apollo, we have worked tirelessly to target those who cause the most harm to our communities by dismantling County Lines operating from within our borders and beyond.
“With the continued support from within Cheshire Police, neighbouring forces and partners, we are well equipped to protect our communities and most vulnerable from the devastation brought forth by County Line gangs. This coordinated approach has made a significant difference to the number of County Lines operating in Cheshire and we will continue to relentlessly target all criminals involved.
“As a result, 87 people have been arrested, 28 of which have already admitted to their criminality and have been jailed for over 100 years.
“These arrests have led to the seizure of Class A and Class B drugs, quantities of cash, and luxury items, which will all be processed through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
“This operation has been paramount in disrupting dangerous offenders who believed they were operating their criminality under the radar. Be assured that our work is continuing, and we will use all resources available to us to crackdown on County Lines.”
Chief Constable Mark Roberts said: “The results over the past year demonstrate Cheshire's determination to make the county a hostile environment for criminals involved in County Line drug activity and I'm incredibly proud of the work undertaken by Op Apollo so far.
"However, the work doesn’t stop there and those involved in the distribution and sale of illegal Class A and B drugs should be warned that we are relentless in our pursuit of those who seek to commit crime in our communities.”
If you believe drug activity is taking place in your community and have information, please contact Cheshire Constabulary via our website or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.