Eleven in court after drug raid

Tough-Talking: Supt Richard Robertshaw outside address in Chapel Lane, New Longton
Tough-Talking: Supt Richard Robertshaw outside address in Chapel Lane, New Longton

Several houses in South Ribble were among 17 addresses raided by police as part of an investigation into organised crime gangs and illegal drugs supply.

More than 120 officers from Lancashire Constabulary and other North West police forces, working on Titan, a regional unit set up to help tackle serious organised crime, executed the warrants on Thursday morning.

South Ribble addresses raided were: York Close, Leyland; Chapel Lane, New Longton; Greencroft, Penwortham; Leyland Road, Penwortham; North Union View, Lostock Hall; Highercroft, Kingsfold; Leyland Road, Penwortham and Styles Avenue, New Longton.

The operation began around 6am when officers, including operational support units and the dog section, with drug detection dogs, swooped on the target addresses.

Of the 17 warrants executed, 11 were in Lancashire, three in Merseyside, two in Cumbria and one in North Wales.

Supt Richard Robertshaw, of Lancashire Constabulary, said: “We are committed to tackling drug-related crime and we are continuing to take a firm stand against those suspected to be involved in the supply of drugs.

“Crime is low, and with the assistance of local communities and our colleagues in neighbouring forces, it is our firm intention to keep it that way.

“Information from the public has greatly assisted this operation, and is vital this continues, if the police are to continue to take action against suspected criminals.

“Our work does not end here. We will continue to target those responsible for crime and disorder.”The types of drugs involved are believed to include cocaine and cannabis.

A total of 11 people appeared before Preston magistrates on Saturday, to face charges relating to the raids.

They included Lee Ormandy, 38, of Chapel Lane, New Longton; Michael McCue, 20, of Higher Croft, Penwortham; and John Busuttil, 45, of York Close, Leyland, who were all charged with conspiracy to supply class A and class C drugs.

Daniel Coady, 22, of no fixed address and Clare Busuttil, 26, of Leyland Road, Penwortham, have been charged with conspiracy to supply class A and class C drugs and possession with intent to supply class B drugs.

A 37-year-old woman from Lostock Hall, who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug and concealing the proceeds of crime, and a 41-year-old man from Penwortham, who was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug, have been released on police bail until April 5, pending further inquiries.