Ten quizzed in cocaine drug raids

HOMES across the north of the county were raided as part of a massive police operation targeting cocaine dealers.

Dozens of officers accompanied by sniffer dogs smashed down front doors in Burton Latimer, Corby and Earls Barton in dawn raids to try to catch cocaine dealers red-handed.

The operation codenamed Vanguard involved 150 officers in co-ordinated raids across three counties.

Officers targeted properties in Whitney Road in Burton Latimer, Westfields Road in Corby, Manor Road in Earls Barton and Main Road in Corby, in the north of the county.

The raids resulted in the seizure of quantities of high purity cocaine, a firearm and three vehicles.

Ten people were arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs and were interviewed at police stations in Corby and Weston Favell.

The operation was linked with similar raids in Cambridgeshire and Hampshire yesterday.

The drugs operation has been described as one of the largest ever undertaken by the force.

Detective Inspector Mark Brayfield, of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit for Serious Organised Crime, helped lead the operation.

He said: “These raids are the culmination of a long-term drugs conspiracy investigation by Northamptonshire Police, in conjunction with regional colleagues in Cambridgeshire and Hampshire, to stop class A drugs being sold in all of our counties.

“We believe there are organised crime groups responsible for much of the supply of drugs in the county and we are determined to continue our efforts to root them out and cut off the wider criminality and anti-social behaviour associated with supplying drugs.”

The Evening Telegraph visited each targeted property and spoke to neighbours.

Michelle Streather, 31, of Whitney Road, Burton Latimer, said: “This area is rife with drugs.

“It’s part of the culture here and is why I’m moving away.”

One man who worked in Manor Road in Earls Barton, who asked not to be named, said: “I was surprised, the police were apparently all over the place.”