Police say they have arrested a man and seized bags of suspected Class A drugs following an early morning raid Mold today.
Officers attended an address in Chester Street Mold at around 6.15am where they found a large bag of what is believed to be cocaine along with a number of similar wraps and paraphernalia associated with drug dealing.
A 34-year-old man from Swansea has been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the supply of Class A drugs.
He was also wanted by South Wales Police on a recall to prison for other offences and is currently in custody in Mold.
Sgt Neil Hughes said;
“This morning’s warrant is part of Operation Ghostly, a local operation to tackle organised criminal gangs from outside our area who are bringing drugs into Flintshire and is part of the force’s wider efforts to tackle County Lines offences.”
County Lines is the name given to the method adopted by organised criminal gangs whereby drug dealers from larger urban area extend their activities to rural areas by sending low level dealers to deal drugs on their behalf.
Sgt Neil Hughes added: “There will be more warrants as we are determined to thwart the attempts of drugs gangs to operate in our communities. Anyone with information should contact http://www.north-wales.police.uk/contact/chat-support.aspx
The County Lines Model
The so-called ‘County Lines’ model see’s organised crime groups (OCG’s) often from cities such as Liverpool or Manchester establish a network between their urban hubs and county locations.
North Wales is a particularly easy target for the OCG’s due to the regions proximity to major hubs and the logistical ease in which drugs can be ferried around, particularly by young drug runners who use the rail networks as the predominant mode of transport.
A key feature of county lines drug supply is the use of a branded mobile phone line which is established in the marketplace and promoted throughout the existing customer base.
Group messages are often sent out periodically to the customer base to advertise the availability of drugs and special deals in return orders are placed back to the phone line.
Phone line is usually controlled by senior group members who tend to be located in the urban hub to avoid local police, these phone lines can generate thousands of pounds daily.
County lines groups will target new area’s and premises by pursuing vulnerable people who attend recovery groups, dependency units and areas associated with those experiencing problems according to a report by the National Crime Agency.
A group will establish relationships with vulnerable individuals for access to their homes – once they gain control over the victim, whether through drug dependency, debt or as part of their relationship, groups move in – this is known as ‘cuckooing.’
Tackling ‘cuckooing’ is part of a wider strategy employed by North Wales Police to disrupt organised drug supply.
This strategy includes the use of covert and overt tactics, including the use of stop and search powers and drug searches.
Joint working between North Wales Police, Local Authorities and housing associations is also critical in tackling the issue of ‘cuckooing’.
Information sharing protocols are in place to ensure that information is passed quickly between agencies to ensure that vulnerable tenants are offered support at the earliest opportunity.
If ‘cuckooing’ is suspected joint visits will be conducted and tenancy agreements enforced.
Like most crime, police depend heavily on ‘community intelligence’ – if you have information about any suspected criminal or suspicious activity in your area, you can report it to police by calling the 101 number or reporting it via the force website follow this link.