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Leeds drugs gangs: Deadly weapons seized by Leeds police after undercover operation

Weapons and drugs seized by police in Leeds during Operation Azureway, an 18-month investigation into drug dealing networks in the city.
Weapons and drugs seized by police in Leeds during Operation Azureway, an 18-month investigation into drug dealing networks in the city.

Deadly weapons and drugs with an estimated street value of almost £400,000 were seized when police in Leeds executed 300 search warrants during a landmark operation.

They included a handgun used in two earlier firearms incidents in Chapeltown, a number of imitation firearms and Tasers concealed in phones and torches.

Read more: How landmark undercover police operation put dozens of dealers behind bars

Analysis of the handgun linked it conclusively to a drive-by shooting in which a drug dealer was targeted as he sat in a car and another which resulted in a bullet being left lodged in a wall.

Six imitation revolvers were taken off the streets, along with a number of weapons capable of firing rounds of live ammunition.

Among them was a pump action shotgun, a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun with ammunition, a Glock style handgun, a Makarov self-loading pistol with live rounds and a 9mm handgun.

Multiple tasers were also seized from the addresses, some of which were hidden within what appeared to be ordinary phones or torches.

At one property where various firearms were found, officers also discovered drugs worth around £20,000 which had been split up into wraps ready to sell.

Read more: Undercover officers must be at ‘top of game’ every time

A total of 4.5kg of heroin – worth an estimated £225,000 – was seized during the course of the operation along with significant amounts of crack cocaine, cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.

The value of all the drugs recovered by officers was calculated to have an estimated street value of £386,000.

Seventeen cars bought from the proceeds of drug dealing and £200,000 in cash were also seized.