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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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BREAKING British and French scrambled to North Sea

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British and French jets have scrambled to the North Sea amid reports that Russian planes have entered the UK airspace.

The RAF Typhoon fighter jet is supporting Airbus Voyager plane deployed from Newcastle after 3pm today.

The French have also supported in the deployment supporting with a fighter jet.

In total four jets were seen over the North Sea on mapping.

The RAF has declined to comment on the situation describing it as an ongoing military operation.

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Teesside

Missing Rachel Turnbull last seen at North Tees Stockton

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Police are urgently appealing to trace missing 27-year-old Rachel Turnbull, who was last seen in the area of the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton at around 4.25pm this afternoon, Wednesday 19th September.

Rachel is originally from Peterlee and may have travelled back towards there.

She is described as a white female, around 5ft 7” tall and was wearing mousey brown hair in pig tails, jeans and grey trainers. She has lime green nail varnish on her finger nails, and had with her a white handbag with large black patches on it.

Anyone who may have seen Rachel or may know of her whereabouts is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101.

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Man arrested after paint thrown over homeless man Michael Cash who was later found dead

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Micheal Cash was sprayed with red paint while he was outside of a Tesco Express store in Eston, Middlesbrough in an incident that has shocked the nation.

A video was then uploaded by a Tesco shopper who claimed “This is how we deal with the beggars on the street. He is not even a beggar we spray them to death”

Sadly just days after the assault Micheal Cash was found dead in a local Cemetery, Police say that both incidents are not linked.

Police have now arrested a local man and released him on bail after he faced questioning for assault and criminal damage.

Cleveland Police have been working extremely hard on this investigation behind the scenes and as part of that investigation have arrested a local man on suspicion of assault and the criminal damage he has now been released on bail.

CPS require further evidence before he can be charged and have allowed the man to be released on police bail while under investigation for the charges of assault and criminal damage.

Releasing a statement police have said “A 33-year-old man has this afternoon been arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage following an alleged incident near Tesco Express on Eston High Street on Sunday 9th September, which left 32-year-old Michael Cash covered in paint. The man has been released under investigation whilst enquiries continue.”

Police have not linked the assault and death together confirming there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Micheal Cash’s death despite tensions being high police have requested people do not speculate on social media.

Days before Cash was found dead he appeared in a video sitting in front of Tesco covered in red paint with the accompanying words “This is how we deal with the beggars on the street. He is not even a beggar we spray them to death”. The man responsible for releasing this footage has claimed he only filmed the video and had nothing todo with the paint.

Claiming he simply wanted to highlight the issue of homeless people sitting outside this supermarket, finding the whole incident funny and claiming he does not feel responsible for Michael’s death but does feel sorry for him and his family

The shocking video was shared on Facebook of Micheal Cash outside of Tesco Express in Normanby.

Crime Scene Investigators could be seen in the bushes within the cemetery and quickly put a cordon in place.

It has been speculated that Cash killed himself following the incident, but until circumstances are known we will not be able to speculate and would urge members of the public not to do so until full circumstances surrounding the death have been released.

Police are only investigating the assault and criminal damage aspect and do not believe there to be anything suspicious in relation to Cash’s death.

Police have asked people not to speculate on social media regarding the incident.

Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth said: “Police are aware of the speculation on social media regarding the cause of the man’s death but we are not linking the assault with his death.

Police have also confirmed that a man who was arrested in relation to criminal damage and assault has now been released on police bail while officers carry out further investigations.

“Officers are carrying out enquiries in relation to the assault outside of Tesco and would appeal for anyone with information or anyone who witnessed it to contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101 quoting 166668, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”

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