Tyne & Wear

Drug trio jailed over £55m North East plot

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Media captionThe operation was uncovered by surveillance work carried out by the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit

Three men have been jailed for trying to flood the North East with heroin and amphetamine worth an estimated £55m.

The huge haul was found during an operation stretching from Northumberland to North Yorkshire.

Aaron Nesbitt, 26, and Kirk Anderson were arrested after more than 400kg of drugs were found in a warehouse.

Nesbitt of Stockton was given 13 years and Anderson, 35, of Billingham, was jailed for 10 years after both admitted conspiracy to supply drugs.

Sentencing the men at Teesside Crown Court, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, said they had played a significant role in a major drugs operation.

A third man Shaun Langlois, 30, of Fulmer Drive, Blyth, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and was jailed for four years.

Regional Crime Unit detectives had been watching and filming Nesbitt meeting other dealers and making exchanges.

Image caption Aaron Nesbitt and Kirk Anderson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs

Nesbitt, of Headlam Road, Billingham, also admitted possessing criminal property - more than £12,000 cash.

Anderson, of Etherley Walk, Stockton, admitted conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.

Det Insp Paul Colling of the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit said: "I've been in the police for 16 years and it is the largest seizure I'm aware of in the North East region.

"It has got the potential value of £55m and the impact that has on our communities is phenomenal. As we all know drugs have a really horrible effect on communities and individuals - it ruins lives.

"When people become addicts it changes their moral compass."

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