Fourteen people suspected of being members of a ‘County Lines’ drug dealing network have been arrested in a joint West Mercia, West Midlands, and Warwickshire Police operation.

The operation, codenamed ‘Operation Ballet’ involved raids in Hereford and Birmingham and is the largest of its kind ever carried out in the region.

Superintendent Sue Thomas, Herefordshire Commander, said:

“We want to make it clear that supplying illegal drugs will not be tolerated, whether it’s in big cities like Birmingham or being transported across county lines to more rural counties like Herefordshire.

“Although we have made some arrests, this operation is not over and we will be carrying out further warrants during the coming weeks to locate and arrest more people who are suspected of being involved in moving substances across county lines.

“Not including the arrests we’ve made during this operation, so far this year police in Herefordshire have made 41 arrests in connection with drug offences and seized drugs worth £88,000.

“We want to make it clear to offenders that there will be consequences should they engage in dealing illegal drugs.”

The raids in Birmingham on Tuesday (5 June) saw eight men and two women arrested and charged with conspiracy to supply drugs.

They are:

• Kamran Rashid, aged 29, from The Broadway in Aston

• Sharaz Hussain, aged 29, from Bevington Road in Aston

• Lisa Fayers, aged 40, from Nelson Road in Aston

• Mohinoor Rashid, aged 21, from Albert Road in Handsworth

• Atieb Osman, aged 26, from Stafford Road in Handsworth

• Zoheeb Habib, aged 26, from Wilson Road in Lozells

• Usman Rafiq, aged 26, from Hollycroft Road in Handsworth

• Ikhlas Hussain, aged 24, from Southcroft Road in Erdington

• Gareth Davies, aged 38, of no fixed address

• Hayley Williams, aged 45, from Grandstand Road in Hereford.

Kamran and Mohinoor Rashid, Sharaz Hussain, Lisa Fayers, Atieb Osman, Zoheeb Habib and Usman Rafiq all appeared at Hereford Magistrates Court on Wednesday (6 June) and were remanded into prison.

They are next due to appear at Worcester Crown Court on 9 July.

Iklas Hussain, Gareth Davies and Hayley Williams were granted bail and are due to appear at Hereford Magistrates Court on 4 July.

Today (Thurs 7 June) another three men aged 32, 37 and 54, plus a 43-year-old woman, were arrested during simultaneous warrants in Hereford.

They remain in police custody for questioning on suspicion of drugs supply.