A major police operation targeting the supply of heroin and crack cocaine in Leeds has resulted in 27 arrests.
More than 30 addresses, mainly in the Harehills and Chapeltown areas, were raided this week as a series of warrants were executed.
It follows months of painstaking work to gather evidence on those suspected of being involved in several ‘ring and bring’ drug dealing phone lines which are behind the supply of Class A drugs on the streets of the city.
The operation was led by specialist officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit and West Yorkshire Police Protective Service Crime.
It resulted in the recovery of two handguns, 13 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun disguised as a torch, approximately two kilos of heroin, 700 individual wraps of crack cocaine, around £20,000 in cash and equipment for processing Class A drugs.
A number of vehicles were also seized by officers.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “This week’s arrest phase builds on two similar previous stages of this operation in May and July this year where a large number of people were arrested and charged with offences.
“The aim of this work over the last six months has been to deal a major blow to the organised criminal groups behind the supply of Class A drugs in the city.
“It is one of the largest single operations of this type in recent years and is a very significant chapter in our ongoing work to dismantle these criminal networks.
“The recovery of firearms and ammunition during this week’s searches highlights the clear link between the criminal use of guns on the streets of the city and the trade in Class A drugs.
“We have seen a number of firearms discharges over the last year with links to feuds and drugs turf wars, and these have caused understandable concern in our communities.
Of the 27 people arrested, 17 have so far been charged with drugs supply offences and have been remanded to court.
Other suspects remain under investigation and further charges are expected.
Chief Supt Money said: "“We have taken a number of key people linked to those incidents of the streets and those efforts will have been bolstered by this week’s operation and its previous phases.
“We hope this operation will serve to provide some reassurance to the law-abiding majority of people in Chapeltown and Harehills and send a very clear deterrent message to those who think they can flout the law without having to face the consequences.
“The supply of illegal drugs fuels crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities and damages and destroys the lives of those who take them and their families. We remain firmly committed to doing everything we can alongside our partner agencies to tackle the issue and keep people safe."
He added that information from the community continues to play a vital role in the success of this work.
Anyone with information on the supply of drugs in the city is urged to call police via 101 or pass on information anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.