Police executed 11 warrants and arrested 17 people this week as part of an investigation into County Lines drug supply.
During the warrants, which were carried out simultaneously, officers also located and seized suspected drugs and cash.
Officers arrested 11 men and five women and one juvenile, on suspicion of money laundering and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
County Lines is a term used to describe gangs, groups or drug networks that supply drugs from urban to suburban or rural areas across the county, using dedicated mobile phone lines or ‘deal lines’. They often exploit children and vulnerable adults to move the drugs and money to and from an urban area.
Detective Inspector Glenn Willcocks said: “The activity carried out across West Cornwall and Merseyside forms part of an ongoing investigation into County Lines drug supply between the two force areas.
“By sharing intelligence and coordinating our policing response with other forces we have been able to carry out a significant operation across two counties and have arrested a number of individuals. Those arrested will be interviewed in due course in relation to the investigation.”
Merseyside Police Detective Inspector Gary Stratton said: “This has been another large operation with Devon and Cornwall, and those suspected of these offences will now be questioned in due course. “Drug supply is hugely damaging to our communities, often involving intimidation, violence and creating fear, through the running of County Lines. Those involved pay no notice to borders so it is vital we share intelligence and resources, in order to target networks, safeguard vulnerable people and prevent further harm.
“This follows on from a separate work last month in which 40 people were arrested in Devon and Cornwall for drug and other offences, with drugs, weapons, cash and vehicles seized. Our message is very clear, we are committed to supporting our communities, protecting the vulnerable and we will pursue those who intend to commit crime.”
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