Seventeen charged after dawn drug raids

PUBLISHED: 18:33 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

POLICE have charged 17 men following a series of dawn drug raids across the district on Wednesday morning. A total of 18 men aged between 17 and 29 were arrested in the raids which followed a 10-month covert operation to disrupt to cocaine market in St A

POLICE have charged 17 men following a series of dawn drug raids across the district on Wednesday morning.

A total of 18 men aged between 17 and 29 were arrested in the raids which followed a 10-month covert operation to disrupt to cocaine market in St Albans.

There were 19 addresses in St Albans, Harpenden and London Colney searched.

Thirteen of the men arrested have been charged with supplying Class A drugs and money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). Two of them are from London Colney, nine from St Albans, and a further two who previously lived in the area.

Another man from St Albans has also been charged with supplying Class A drugs and a further three men, one from London Colney and two from St Albans, were charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine.

They were all due to appear before St Albans Magistrates today (Thursday).

Another man from St Albans was given police bail until February.

Speaking yesterday, St Albans' new Chief Inspector Richard Hann said that they believed those arrested were selling cocaine to young affluent professionals from a business that was set up like a pizza delivery service with three business lines.

Nearly 670 people believed to be regular cocaine users have received a text message from police using numbers found on the three main "drug hotline" numbers belonging to people arrested. The message offers to help them kick their addiction.

Anyone with information about suspected drug dealing in their neighbourhood should contact the police on 01707 806425 or the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222.

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