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15 September 2011, 13:11
Two women and three men have been arrested in connection with a co-ordinated gang selling drugs in Hampshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.
Another woman was also arrested for unrelated drugs offences.
It's part of 'Operation Asquith', a nationwide operation targeting members of an organised drug gang believed to be key players in setting up and co-ordinating drug cells in Hampshire, and across the region.
Hampshire Constabulary led and co-ordinated arrests in Southampton, Plymouth,Manchester and Sheffield, assisted by colleagues from Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, South Yorkshire Police and Greater Manchester Police.
Shortly after 7am on Thursday15th September, 100 officers from the five forces involved in the operation visited addresses in Southampton (two), Plymouth (one), Sheffield (one) and Manchester (12).
Detective Inspector Adam Price, said: "Hampshire Constabulary's Serious and Organised Crime Unit has been investigating a drug dealing network originating in Manchester and operating across the South of England. Working jointly with other forces we have previously convicted seven members of this gang. Today saw a continuation of that operation.
"The bottom line is that we will not tolerate drug dealers in Hampshire and we want to send a clear message to those involved in organised crime that they will be caught and we will push for conviction."
Three men; two from Manchester and one Bournemouth, and two women; one from Southampton and one from Sheffield are now in custody being questioned by detectives.