A RUNCORN man has been charged with a drug offence after police struck at homes across Cheshire to find the suspects who placed a grenade under car in Warrington.

Utku Tig, 31, of Lilac Crescent, Runcorn, has been charged with conspiring to supply cocaine.

Five other men also face charges linked to explosives and drug offences following the police operation. 

Robert Musson, 33, of Bernard Avenue, Appleton, faces charges of criminal conspiracy to possess explosives and conspiring to supply cocaine while William Jones, 28, of Forster Street, Orford, was charged with criminal conspiracy to possess explosives.

Kyle Stewart, 31, of Howson Road, Orford, was charged with criminal conspiracy to possess explosives.

Two men, who were produced from prison, have also been charged. 

Paul Jones, 38, was charged with conspiring to supply cocaine while Wesley Williamson, 31, previously from Warrington, was charged with criminal conspiracy to possess explosives and conspiring to supply cocaine.

A 28-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply a class A drug, namely cocaine, has been released under investigation.

The six suspects are due to appear at West Cheshire Magistrates' Court today, Wednesday.

Police carried out searches of the homes on Bernard Avenue in Appleton, Forster Street and Greenwood Crescent in Orford and Lilac Crescent in Runcorn on Tuesday.

The arrests– which are not terrorist related – come as part of an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Unit after a grenade was placed under a car on Cleveland Road in Warrington in the early hours of February 24.

Det Chf Insp Mike Evans, from the Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: “Firstly I want to reassure the community that the arrests made this morning are not linked to terrorism.

“The operation centred on an influential and established organised crime group in Warrington.

"Since the device was discovered a lengthy investigation has enabled detectives to establish the full circumstances of what took place. 

"By gathering evidence and intelligence it has helped lead us to those we believe were responsible.

“Protecting vulnerable people and our communities from serious and organised crime is paramount. 

"The arrests send a very clear message that we are dedicated and committed in finding all those involved in criminal activity.”

Following the arrests residents can expect to see police officers patrolling the area to provide further reassurance.

Det Chf Insp Evans added: “Our fight against serious and organised crime continues and we will not stop until those involved realise Cheshire is a very difficult place to operate.

“It is everybody’s business to help disrupt organised crime within our communities and we need your support in providing us with any information.

"If you do not feel comfortable speaking to a police officer then you can pass information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”