Eight people arrested following county lines drug raids in St Helens, Chester and Liverpool

Dawn raids took place in St Helens, Liverpool and Chester
Dawn raids took place in St Helens, Liverpool and Chester

Dawn raids have been carried out at homes in St Helens, Chester and Liverpool as part of the ongoing fight against those involved in county lines drug dealing.

Officers executed warrants at four addresses in Chester, six in Liverpool and one in St Helens this morning, Thursday, April 25

As a result, seven men aged between 24 and 54 and a 26-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. They are all in custody helping officers with their enquiries.

Today’s strike – known as Operation Wagtail – is the culmination of a lengthy and complex covert investigation into the supply of heroin and crack cocaine from Merseyside to Chester.

The investigation has been conducted by Chester Local Policing Unit (LPU), which organised and co-ordinated the raids.

The raids were carried out by 44 officers, including six from Merseyside Police.

Chief Inspector Carlos Brunes, of Chester LPU, said: “Today’s arrests follow a lengthy investigation into those believed to be involved in county lines drug offences.

“For the past six months our officers have been gathering evidence and intelligence concerning class A drugs being supplied to Chester from the Merseyside area.

“Class A drugs have a hugely detrimental impact on communities, causing widespread misery. As such, cutting off supplies of illegal drugs and removing drug dealers from our communities is of paramount importance.

“Protecting vulnerable people who are the victims of such crimes is also vitally important to us.

“Today’s operation, conducted by Cheshire Constabulary with support from Merseyside Police, will undoubtedly play a crucial role in disrupting serious and organised crime and send out a very clear message that the supply of class A drugs will not be tolerated.

“I also hope that it reassures communities that we are committed to doing all we can to tackle this type of criminality.”

Specialist equipment was used to gain entry to some of the properties raided and officers have carried out detailed searches of all the addresses. They have seized what are believed to be class A and class B drugs as well as a quantity of cash.

Chief Inspector Brunes added: “There is misery behind every drug deal, and although we do extensive work with our partners to break the cycle of serious and organised crime we cannot achieve this alone.

“We need the public to be our eyes and ears and to come forward with information regarding drug dealing in their communities.

“Your support is crucial in the ongoing fight against county lines drug dealing and all other forms of serious and organised crime.

“Together we can help to keep vulnerable people and our communities safe.

“Suspected drug dealing activity can be reported to Cheshire Constabulary directly by calling 101.

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