Drug Ring Smashed

Police today smashed an alleged professional criminal network capable of generating drugs worth more than £3 million a year as part of a day-long crackdown.

An organised crime group suspected of involvement in producing and supplying drugs, mainly cannabis, on a huge scale was identified in east Kent, officers said.

Police chiefs said the gang's ill-gotten gains gave them lavish lifestyles well beyond their means, and that today's operation had struck a blow at the top of the hierarchy.

More than 70 officers conducted a series of dawn raids at eight commercial and residential properties in Thanet, Herne Bay and Ashford.

Four people - three men aged 38, 48 and 35 and a 40-year-old woman - have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to produce controlled drugs.

At a large rural property in Hastingleigh, near Ashford, search teams found a sophisticated hydroponic cannabis factory with cannabis plants in different stages of maturity.

Kent Police said they believed the professional set-up could have been capable of generating more than #3 million a year once fully up and running.

Seven vehicles, including a luxury Aston Martin DB9 believed to be worth around £40,000, were seized, along with computers, mobile phones and around £4,000 in cash.

Chief Superintendent Mark Nottage, of Kent Police, said: ``We had identified a sophisticated organised crime group working in the east of the county who were living lavish lifestyles on the proceeds of drug crime.

``These are people concerned in the production and supply of drugs, particularly cannabis, on a massive scale. The money they made was used to fuel an extravagant way of living well beyond their normal means.''

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham, the senior investigating officer, said: ``The positive impact an operation on this scale can have on our communities is huge and I hope it clearly demonstrates how committed we are to dealing with drug crime.''

Recently Played Tracks

On Radio: Lucy Ellis

10pm - 1am

Email the show

Text 'HEART' to 82122

Lucy Ellis

On TV: 55 British Hits Of The 90s

7pm - 11pm

Watch heart TV

  • Everything But The Girl Missing (Todd Terry Remix)



  • Simply Red Fairground



  • Oasis Don't Look Back In Anger



  • Shanks & Bigfoot Sweet Like Chocolate



Heart VIP


Autumn Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Advertise Advertise in Kent

Get some great ideas on how to advertise your business on radio, online and on mobile.

Follow Heart on Twitter