Nine arrested in police raids after £750,000 of spice drugs discovered in jail cell

Nine suspects have been arrested in police raids after £750,000 of spice drugs were discovered in a jail cell.

By Gavin Ledwith
Wednesday, 10 July, 2019, 14:26
Wednesday's raids followed the discovery of at least £750,000 worth of drugs in Stockton's Holme House Prison.

Properties in Easington Lane and Ashington were among those targeted by the Cleveland Police-led Operation Exmouth.

Other homes in Stockton, east Cleveland and Manchester were also raided.

Four women, aged 29, 31, 39 and 45, were arrested while five men, aged 29, 29, 31, 39 and 53, were all detained.

Operation Exmouth was launched in July 2017 after two cell searches at Holme House Prison, in Stockton, uncovered more than 6kg of spice, a class B controlled drug, worth £750,000.

Another 156 Oxandrolone class C tablets were also recovered.

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Detective Inspector Tony Cross, of Cleveland Police, said: “Operation Exmouth is the first of its kind for Cleveland Police in that it is the first time that we have conducted such a large scale operation focused solely on the supply of Spice and other associated drugs.

“This arrest activity today has been part of a two-year complex investigation and has only been achieved through joint working between the police, Her Majesty’s Prison Service and other partner agencies.

Throughout this time, we have also strengthened our working practices and intelligence sharing with our partner agencies to reduce the likelihood of drugs being accessible in the prison environment.

“The recovery within Holme House in 2017 was significant and this operation today shows the efforts that go into bringing suspected drug networks to justice.”