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Police seize £100K cash following strikes on drug dealers

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Over £100,000 in cash has been seized during pre-planned strikes by Durham Constabulary on suspected drug dealers.

Nine homes were raided this morning and eight people were arrested for a range of offences including conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering.

The two women and six men, aged between 29 and 74, are currently being questioned by detectives.

In addition to the money, a quantity of what is believed to be controlled drugs was also recovered.

A number of properties in South Hetton were raided including addresses at Regents Court, Front Street, Quinn Square, Fallowfield Terrace and Hedley Terrace.

Homes were also searched at Lillywhite Terrace, Easington Lane; Monuments Building, West Sunniside, Sunderland; Cambridge Road, Sunderland and Osborne Avenue, South Shields.

The action forms part of Operation Sledgehammer, which was launched in 2010 to combat organised crime in County Durham and Darlington.

Det Chief Insp Victoria Fuller, head of specialist crime operations for Durham Constabulary, said: “Today’s action is a result of a long running, ongoing police investigation which aims to tackle those suspected of being involved in drugs offences.

“We are determined to dismantle, disrupt and destroy the networks of those involved in drug dealing who blight our communities.”

Anyone with information about drug-dealing in their area can call the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111.

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Police name Steven John Willis following targeted murder

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Cleveland Police have this morning named Steven John Willis aged 27 following what is believed to have been a targeted murder.

Steven’s body was found in the road outside of his home in Meadowcroft Road, Normanby.

Locally Steven was also known as Steven Pickering or Picko. There have been floods of tributes on social media.

It is believed Steven was subjected to a violent and targeted attack.

Cleveland Police are currently holding five men in police custody on suspicion of murder.

Police received a 999 reporting a disturbance near Skippers Lane Normanby.

Crime scene investigators are combing the area following the death. Officers responded to the incident just after 10.30pm on April 16th.

It is believed all five men are being held at separate police stations

Local residents have told Police Hour that police have not yet conducted house to house enquires but police remain at the house on the corner of Meadowcroft Road.

The crime scene within the area bas been reduced and now centres around the front garden of Meadowcroft Road and the house in which Steven lived within.

The area in which the incident happened is a very quiet area.

Cleveland Police progressed the investigation very quickly initially announcing three arrests had been made all men aged 20, 22 and 31 all being held on suspicion or murder.

Later it was announced a fourth arrest had been made of a man aged 21.

A fifth arrest of another 21-year-old man was then made late on Tuesday evening.

All five men currently remain in police custody for questioning.

Cleveland Police have not released details surrounding the incident that unfolded however two people aged 17 and 44 are being treated at James Cook Hospital they are in a non-life threatening stable condition.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Cleveland Police on 101.

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Three arrested on suspicion of Murder in Middlesbrough

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Three men have been arrested on suspicion of Murder following the discovery of a man in Middlesbrough.

Three men aged 20, 22 and 31 have all been arrested on suspicion of murder following reports of a disturbance near Skippers Lane Middlesbrough.

Crime scene investigators are combing the area following the death. Officers responded to the incident just after 10.30pm last night.

It is believed all three men are being held at separate police stations

A Cleveland Police spokesperson said “Three men, aged 20, 22 and 31, have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a 27 year old man following an incident in Meadowcroft Road, Normanby at around 10.30pm last night (Monday 16th April).

“They remain in police custody awaiting questioning.  Inquiries into the incident are on- going and we would appeal for anyone who was in the area at the time to contact police via the 101 number quoting Event 66570.”

The focus of the investigation at the moment is on a car parked in the Middle Of Skippers Lane The Gazette On Teesside reporter Keane Duncan Tweeted.

If you have any information please contact Cleveland Police on 101.

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Fatal collision West View road Hartlepool

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Police can now name the gentleman who sadly died after his car was in collision on West View Road in Hartlepool at around 1.45pm this afternoon (Thursday 12th April).

Hartlepool man Herbert Mark Ashley, 67, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Herbert leaves wife Ellen, adult children and grandchildren, and his family has this evening said they have been left devastated at his death and that he will be very sadly missed.

They have asked to be left in peace while they try to come to terms with what has happened.

Cleveland Police have said Our thoughts and sympathies remain with them at this very difficult time.

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