A workman found £15,000 worth of cocaine inside a house while installing an electricity meter, police have said.
Officers were called to a house on Richmond Road, South Shields earlier, after plastic bags containing white powder were discovered.
Northumbria Police said the powder was cocaine worth about £15,000.
A 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled drug with intent to supply, and has been released under investigation.
Police said drugs paraphernalia, including a set of scales, was also seized.