Cocaine and ecstasy found inside pizza box as police crackdown on County Lines drug dealing in Harrogate

Police found cocaine and ecstasy hidden inside a man's pizza box during a four-day operation to crackdown on County Lines drug dealing in Harrogate.

Class A drugs recovered by police in Harrogate.

Officers made nine arrests, recovered thousands of pounds of class A drugs and also seized weapons as part of the operation, which saw North Yorkshire Police work in partnership with the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit(ROCU), the Home Office and the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NLCC).

Cocaine and heroin with a street value of £2,600 was recovered by officers, as well as cannabis and amphetamines, and £500 cash. Eight mobile phones were also seized, as well as a large hunting knife and officers also identified a new county line impacting on Harrogate.

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During the four days of activity, police also visited 76 people who are considered vulnerable to county lines exploitation.

Detective Sergeant Marcus Dawson, from North Yorkshire Police, said: “The safeguarding of vulnerable people continues to be a key focus of our work and these nationally funded days of action are very welcome, providing a boost to our existing proactive work, and allowing us to protect more people and disrupt more drug dealers.

“They also give us an opportunity the gather more intelligence about drug dealing, information that then goes on to inform more operational activity in the future.”

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Officers recovered a significant quantity of crack cocaine and heroin, phones, cash, and the large hunting knife. One of the boys has been charged with possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and is currently awaiting trial. The other three remain on police bail while the investigation continues.

In another incident two men were stopped travelling from Leeds to Harrogate and arrested after officers found 26 bags of suspected MDMA and cocaine inside a pizza box. The pair were released under investigation.

Detective Inspector Mark Catney, the County Lines Crime Co-ordinator for the Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: "It is important to work together with partners to tackle county lines crime.

“Criminals do not respect force borders so our approach must be to work together to achieve the maximum possible impact – by bringing those responsible for it to justice and by safeguarding vulnerable victims.

“I would particularly like to thank the Home Office and the National County Lines Coordination Centre – they provided funding to support this successful operation.”