Wolverhampton Police and the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) have arrested 35 people in a series of dawn raids in the Low Hill and Bushbury areas of Wolverhampton, as well as Featherstone in South Staffordshire.
The operation has been 18 months in the making and has been running for just over a month, with the raids split up over several weeks.
In the final day of the raids, one man, aged 47, was arrested at an address in Penderell Close in Featherstone.
Within minutes of turning up at the address the suspect was being bundled into an unmarked police car, with officers working effectively to peacefully arrest the man without the need for gaining forced entry to the house.
Simultaneous raids across the region saw police arrest a 21-year-old man in Legs Lane, Bushbury, a 52-year-old man in Keats Road, Bushbury, and a 24-year-old woman in Westbourne Avenue, Cheslyn Hay. Detective Chief Inspector Tom Chisholm, who has been with the police for 25 years,
said: “The message is loud and clear, don’t deal drugs in Wolverhampton, we will catch up with you as we’ve proven in this case. This has been many months in the planning and execution of this operation, to deal with the issue of drug dealing. They’re an organised crime group that we think have been there for a considerable amount of time, dealing in mainly class A drugs. The community have told us about the issue and West Midlands Police and ROCU want to do something about it, so this is a culmination of that work and combined effort.
“We’ve arrested 35 people for a range of offences including the dealing of class A drugs, and recovered approximately £80,000 worth of class A drugs, which is mainly heroine and cocaine.
“£15,000 in cash has also been seized, as well as large amounts of designer clothing.
“It’s a joint job, we’re mindful of the impact the drug dealing had on that area.
“It’s a driver of crime for us, people may think drug dealing is a victimless crime but it’s not, it generates many other crimes from shoplifting to car key burglaries, robberies and vehicle crime that impacts on these communities.
“People are also drug dependants which fuels them to commit crimes as well, so it has a huge impact on people’s lives and families.
“For us to invest this amount of assets into this operation then clearly these are people that are causing a big impact on Wolverhampton, we want to maximise the opportunity we had around this group