31 people charged as police smash £2m cannabis drugs ring in Runcorn

Dawn raids smash £2m drugs gang in Runcorn

Dawn raids smash £2m drugs gang in Runcorn

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

MORE people have been arrested and charged, following the biggest ever crackdown on Cannabis dealers in Runcorn.

A total of 31 people, 27 men, two women and two juveniles, have appeared at Halton Magistrates Court, as part of Operation Gram.

Dawn raids smashed a drugs gang which netted £2 million a year supplying cannabis across Runcorn.

Some 17 have been remanded in custody and nine bailed to appear at a later date.

Five defendants have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply illegal drugs., One has received a 24-month suspended sentence, two have been jailed for 12 months and 2 have been granted bail after pleading guilty, pending pre-sentence reports.

The majority of those charged were arrested on Wednesday, September 5, as part of a series of dawn raids to target the suspected use and supply of Cannabis across the town.

Others were arrested two days later following the execution of further warrants in the town.

One man was also produced from prison in connection with the operation and subsequently charged.

One man voluntarily attended a police station were he was arrested and subsequently charged.

Around 300 officers were involved in the operation, he biggest that Cheshire Police has ever carried out in relation to Cannabis.

Warrants and searches have been carried out at a total of 28 properties across the town.

The operation was led by officers from Runcorn Neighbourhood Policing Unit, supported by colleagues from across the force.

Following the execution of the warrants, local neighbourhood officers have been carrying out high-visibility patrols to offer reassurance to local residents.

Inspector Gareth Lee said: "Following the strike phase of the operation, we have received a lot of positive comments from members of the local community who are pleased to see the action that has been taken.

"We want to reassure residents that the efforts of neighbourhood officers will continue.

"Illegal drugs can have a major impact on the local community. It is an issue we take extremely seriously and we devote all the resources we can to tackling the issue.

"Information from members of the public is vital in the fight against drug related crime and we would urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in Runcorn to contact us.”

Anyone with information can call Cheshire Police on 101.

Comments (5)

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2:59pm Wed 19 Sep 12

Babs Stanley says...

Why don't we try taking a completely new approach to cannabis? In Britain, 30% of us use cannabis in our lifetime, three million people use it at least once per month and we consume more than three tonnes every day. The idea that we can prevent people using it is nonsense.

We waste billions every year on police, court and prison resources when a large proportion of society uses cannabis without any problem at all. In fact, the only real problem with cannabis is that it's illegal.

The risks to health are very small - much, much less than alcohol or tobacco. Professor Terrie Moffitt of the
Institute of Psychiatry said recently that cannabis is "safe for over 18s". If we took responsibility and introduced a tax and regulate system we could protect children far more effectively than we do at present.

We could have a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy.

Also, very importantly, science now proves that cannabis is one of the safest and most effective medicines for a wide range of conditions. While the government promotes the lie that "there is no medicinal value in cannabis", it has granted an unlawful monopoly to GW Pharmaceuticals to grow 20 tonnes a year for, you guessed it, medicine!

Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) published independent research last year that shows a cannabis tax and regulate policy would provide a boost to the UK economy of up to £9.3 billion pa as well as reducing all health and
social harms.

The only thing that keeps the present absurd status quo in place is weak politicians corrupted by Big Booze
and the GW Pharma monopoly.
Why don't we try taking a completely new approach to cannabis? In Britain, 30% of us use cannabis in our lifetime, three million people use it at least once per month and we consume more than three tonnes every day. The idea that we can prevent people using it is nonsense. We waste billions every year on police, court and prison resources when a large proportion of society uses cannabis without any problem at all. In fact, the only real problem with cannabis is that it's illegal. The risks to health are very small - much, much less than alcohol or tobacco. Professor Terrie Moffitt of the Institute of Psychiatry said recently that cannabis is "safe for over 18s". If we took responsibility and introduced a tax and regulate system we could protect children far more effectively than we do at present. We could have a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy. Also, very importantly, science now proves that cannabis is one of the safest and most effective medicines for a wide range of conditions. While the government promotes the lie that "there is no medicinal value in cannabis", it has granted an unlawful monopoly to GW Pharmaceuticals to grow 20 tonnes a year for, you guessed it, medicine! Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) published independent research last year that shows a cannabis tax and regulate policy would provide a boost to the UK economy of up to £9.3 billion pa as well as reducing all health and social harms. The only thing that keeps the present absurd status quo in place is weak politicians corrupted by Big Booze and the GW Pharma monopoly. Babs Stanley
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Wed 19 Sep 12

A quiet man says...

here is a respected scientific report that shows how violence is directly linked to the policing of the drugs market could some one please explain to the police that they are making a bad situation worse and laying the seeds of a more violent future for us all. "The empirical results obtained are consistent with
a prior expectations that homicide offense rates are higher in communities that devote a greater percentage of their policing resources to
the enforcement of drug laws.." please educate yourselves .
http://www.cato.org/
pubs/journal/cj14n3/
cj14n3-8.pdf
here is a respected scientific report that shows how violence is directly linked to the policing of the drugs market could some one please explain to the police that they are making a bad situation worse and laying the seeds of a more violent future for us all. "The empirical results obtained are consistent with a prior expectations that homicide offense rates are higher in communities that devote a greater percentage of their policing resources to the enforcement of drug laws.." please educate yourselves . http://www.cato.org/ pubs/journal/cj14n3/ cj14n3-8.pdf A quiet man
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Wed 19 Sep 12

SuperSilverSourDiesel says...

Thank prohibition for keeping drug dealers in business long term, Thanks to the government gifting the market to criminals, a rise in violence and cannabis prices, associated crimes and under-age cannabis use. Thanks to the government disallowing any regulation, kids finding cannabis easier to obtain than alcohol and tobacco, and become enticed by gangsterism, lured in by organized crime and become victims of this 'war'. Thank prohibition for disallowing quality control so dealers are free to contaminate cannabis buds with hard drugs like heroine and crack. Thank prohibition for jailing small time growers who where looking to self medicate without coming into contact with dealers, depriving the black market of their income. Thank prohibition for protecting alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, as opposed to protecting its citizens.

The war on drugs is surprisingly similar to the war on terror. Invading poor countries to get terrorists, Invading poor estates to get dealers. Destroy homes, confiscate property and jail families of terror suspects. Destroy homes, confiscate property and jail families of Drug suspects. Both accidentally kill and imprison thousands of innocent people. Both ignore underlining causes, both waste billions of pounds, both are a fail.

I dislike drug dealers and children using cannabis or becoming enticed by gangsterism, so i say NO to prohibition and NOW to legal regulation.
Thank prohibition for keeping drug dealers in business long term, Thanks to the government gifting the market to criminals, a rise in violence and cannabis prices, associated crimes and under-age cannabis use. Thanks to the government disallowing any regulation, kids finding cannabis easier to obtain than alcohol and tobacco, and become enticed by gangsterism, lured in by organized crime and become victims of this 'war'. Thank prohibition for disallowing quality control so dealers are free to contaminate cannabis buds with hard drugs like heroine and crack. Thank prohibition for jailing small time growers who where looking to self medicate without coming into contact with dealers, depriving the black market of their income. Thank prohibition for protecting alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, as opposed to protecting its citizens. The war on drugs is surprisingly similar to the war on terror. Invading poor countries to get terrorists, Invading poor estates to get dealers. Destroy homes, confiscate property and jail families of terror suspects. Destroy homes, confiscate property and jail families of Drug suspects. Both accidentally kill and imprison thousands of innocent people. Both ignore underlining causes, both waste billions of pounds, both are a fail. I dislike drug dealers and children using cannabis or becoming enticed by gangsterism, so i say NO to prohibition and NOW to legal regulation. SuperSilverSourDiesel
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Wed 19 Sep 12

Greylox says...

You talk about the harms done by illegal drugs, yet they pale in comparison to the carnage left by legal ones. How about you start targeting dealers that sell alcohol, like pubs and supermarkets. The hypocrisy is unbelievable. Wastes of space and public resources.
You talk about the harms done by illegal drugs, yet they pale in comparison to the carnage left by legal ones. How about you start targeting dealers that sell alcohol, like pubs and supermarkets. The hypocrisy is unbelievable. Wastes of space and public resources. Greylox
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Wed 19 Sep 12

chunkymunky says...

Well.......I didn't expect to see that copied and pasted......again!!!
!
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Well.......I didn't expect to see that copied and pasted......again!!! ! Zzzzzzzzzzzzz chunkymunky
  • Score: 0

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