13 arrested during week of action to tackle drugs gangs in Hertfordshire

The operation was part of a week of action against county lines drug gangs

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 5:30 pm

Thirteen people were arrested and 11 warrants executed in Hertfordshire as part of a crackdown on drugs gangs.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Mantis team carried out a week of operations against county lines drug gangs, between Monday, May 17 and Friday, May 21.

Warrants were also served at addresses in Birmingham, with support from West Midlands Police. Thirteen arrests were made in total, with seven of those being charged.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Mantis team carried out a week of operations against county lines drug gangs

During the operations more than £32,000 was seized, as well as significant amounts of class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin).

Forces across the UK carried out similar operations with support from the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre (NCLCC) and Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, as part of a national drive, to disrupt and arrest those involved in County Lines.

County lines is the name given to describe drug dealing, which involves criminal networks from urban areas expanding their activities into smaller towns and rural areas.

It often involves the exploitation of children, as gangs use young people and those with mental health or addiction problems to transport drugs and money. These gangs establish a base in the location they are targeting, often taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’.

Detective Inspector Alex Willcox, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Command, said: “This latest week of action is part of our continuing drive to disrupt and dismantle County Lines gangs operating in the county. We have made a number of significant arrests, seizing large amounts of drugs and cash in the process, doing substantial damage to these gangs’ operations.

“We take a very proactive approach, working with our partners in other forces and national agencies to make it difficult for these organisations to operate in our towns, identifying new gangs and targeting them early before they get a foothold and serious offences can occur.

“Police forces across the country took part in the coordinated week of action to target those who are involved in drugs supply and exploiting vulnerable people. We continue to work with partners at national and local level, to target these gangs and also to raise awareness of County Lines among young people, parents, teachers and other members of the community to help protect the vulnerable and prevent them from getting involved in gang activity.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101 or report information online.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

If someone you know has a drug problem, they can get help by contacting Frank on 0800 77 66 00 or visiting www.talktofrank.com.

Those charged were:

Rayquarn Ashby, 18, from Red Hawk Close, Lincoln, charged for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs

Onome Omonseh, 23, from Deans Drive, London, charged for conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Naeem Ahmed, 25, of Warren Farm Road, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Abdullah Milash, 24, of Merryhill Drive, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession with intent to supply class A drugs

Alfie Eaves, 26, of, Park Road, Moseley, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Sharmina Islam, 25, of, Cophall Street, Tipton, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Iyesha Mahmood, 23, of, Scotland Street, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession with intent to supply class A drugs

All were remanded into custody.

Those arrested were:

A 24-year-old man from Birmingham, arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs

A 27-year-old man from London, arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs

A 24-year-old man from London, arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs

A 25-year-old man from Luton, arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs

A 20-year-old man from Luton, arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs

A 23-year-old man from Luton, arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

All were released whilst investigations continue.