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2 August 2016, 16:16 | Updated: 2 August 2016, 16:30
A drugs gang have been jailed for more than forty years for trying to bring £8million worth of Class A substances to Gateshead.
The group were caught after an intelligence-led investigation from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit.
The gang were tracked by officers between March-October 2014, and were found with the Class A drugs and £100,000 in cash.
Their aim was to take the substances from Liverpool to supply them in Gateshead.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Colling, from the North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit said:
"This was a calculated network and the key players in the group directing those underneath them to transport money and or drugs on their behalf, between the north east and their Liverpool criminal associates."
"Those underneath them took the real risk, getting their hands dirty with cash or drugs."
"However, what is clear is that everyone who played a part in this gang will pay the price for their involvement."
"The total street value of drugs seized throughout this investigation is estimated to be £8 million. This clearly shows the level of criminality that the north east and the Liverpool group of offenders were operating at."
"There is a perception by some, that drug dealers live a glamorous life, living the high life with a cash rich lifestyle."
The truth is that drugs ruin lives and instigate other crimes within our communities, such as violence, anti-social behaviour and acquisitive crime, and this cannot be ignored."
"Our aim is together with our partner agencies and the communities, to disrupt and dismantle serious and organised crime, to remind those intent on dealing drugs that we will identify them and help eliminate the misery they inflict on our communities."
"The message is clear; if you are intent on committing crime, you risk an early morning wakeup call from
one of our teams and a future behind bars."