Police successfully execute series of warrants to dismantle emerging drugs market in the Meadows
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Officers are determined to dismantle any future drugs gangs operating in the Meadows after nine people were jailed following the murder of a Nottingham man.
Operation Reacher supported by neighbourhood officers have carried out a series of warrants which has resulted in the arrest of a number of people.
Large amounts of crack cocaine and heroin, cash and a weapon were seized.
Officers have also worked at disrupting ‘cuckooing’ where vulnerable people’s homes are exploited by drug dealers.
The warrants come in the wake of nine gang members being jailed for a total of more than 260 years after a Nottingham man was fatally stabbed in a case of mistaken identity.
Michael Anton O’Connor was attacked outside a property in Wilford Crescent West, the Meadows, shortly after 10.20pm on 10 November 2021.
The 31-year-old, from Alexandra Park, died at the Queen’s Medical Centre after police found him collapsed on the pavement.
A subsequent police investigation found the murder was the culmination of a drug war which had broken out between two rival organised crime groups – each vying for control of the local drugs market.
Michael, known to many as Anton, was well-known and well-liked in the area and was tasked with calming tensions between the two gangs.
However, his killers mistook him for their intended target, a Nottingham drugs kingpin, and it cost Michael his life.
Police are continuing to work tirelessly to ensure that any drugs gangs attempting to set up shop in the Meadows are immediately shut down.
Officers carried out a warrant on Thursday 4 May at Orange Gardens where more than 100 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine were discovered.
They also seized more than £1,000 in cash and a number of mobile phones. A man has been arrested on possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
The second warrant was carried out on Friday 23 June in Meredith Close.
Officers smashed their way through the front door of the property where around 70 individual wraps of heroin and crack cocaine were found.
A further ‘bulk’ of heroin and crack cocaine were also found at the address as well as around £400 in cash, scales, and a friction lock baton, which is an offensive weapon.
Three people have been arrested on possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possession of a weapon.
Officers also executed a warrant on Monday 26 June at an address in Royston Close, where police intelligence suggested ‘cuckooing’ was taking place.
No one was present at the address during the warrant, but police seized more than 60 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine, a further bulk of crack cocaine, and some cash. More work is being carried out at the address.
A further warrant was carried out at Middle Furlong Gardens where a number of mobile phones have been seized.
Other warrants were also carried out at Hawthorne Close and Causeway Mews but nothing evidential seized.
Police Sergeant Tim Register, from Operation Reacher, said: “We have run a series of drugs warrants in the Meadows recently with some significant success.
“We believe there has been a significant vacuum in the drug supply market in the Meadows following the tragic murder in November 2021.
“There was clearly a dip in supply in the immediate aftermath. The purpose of these warrants was to disrupt the emerging drug supply network and ensure those who think they can set up shop in the Meadows are immediately closed down.
“We have already taken a large quantity of suspected heroin and crack cocaine out of the Meadows following these warrants and we will continue to ensure that any intelligence we get we act upon."
Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Dalby added: “Lots of work has been done by police and partners to change the face of the Meadows.
“It has a fantastic community spirit, and we want to keep it that way. We will not allow drug dealers to think they can come into the Meadows and profit from the sale of drugs including crack cocaine and heroin.
“We will also target any drug dealers who think they can take over the home of a vulnerable person, known as ‘cuckooing’, and use this property for their own gain.
“Drugs are closely linked to so many other crimes including knife crime, burglary, shoplifting, and vehicle crime and that is why we take a no holds barred approach to targeting any properties we believe are being used to produce and supply them.
“These warrants are a fantastic result by officers who are now working hard to determine the scale of these operations.
“If any member of the public suspects that drug dealing is taking place in their area, we would urge them to get in touch and we will act upon any information we receive.”