FOURTEEN people, including one from Hereford, suspected of being members of a 'county lines' drug dealing network have been arrested.

The operation, codenamed 'Operation Ballet' involved raids in Hereford and Birmingham and was the largest of its kind ever carried out in the region.

It involved a join operation by West Mercia, West Midlands and Warwickshire police forces.

Superintendent Sue Thomas, Herefordshire police commander, said: "We want to make it clear that supplying illegal drugs will not be tolerated, whether it's in big cities like Birmingham or being transported across county lines to more rural counties like Herefordshire.

"Although we have made some arrests, this operation is not over and we will be carrying out further warrants during the coming weeks to locate and arrest more people who are suspected of being involved in moving substances across county lines.

"Not including the arrests we've made during this operation, so far this year police in Herefordshire have made 41 arrests in connection with drug offences and seized drugs worth £88,000.

"We want to make it clear to offenders that there will be consequences should they engage in dealing illegal drugs."

The raids in Birmingham on Tuesday (June 5) saw eight men and two women arrested and charged with conspiracy to supply drugs.

They are:

  • Hayley Williams, aged 45, of Grandstand Road, Hereford.
  • Kamran Rashid, aged 29; Sharaz Hussain, 29; Lisa Fayers, 40; Mohinoor Rashid, 21; Atieb Osman, 26; Zoheeb Habib, 26; Usman Rafiq, 26; and Ikhlas Hussain, 24, all from the Birmingham area
  • Gareth Davies, 38, of no fixed address.

Kamran and Mohinoor Rashid, Sharaz Hussain, Lisa Fayers, Atieb Osman, Zoheeb Habib and Usman Rafiq all appeared at Hereford Magistrates Court on Wednesday (June 6) and were remanded into prison.

They are next due to appear at Worcester Crown Court on July 9.

Iklas Hussain, Gareth Davies and Hayley Williams were granted bail and are due to appear at Hereford Magistrates Court on July 4.

Today another three men aged 32, 37 and 54, plus a 43-year-old woman, were arrested during simultaneous warrants in Hereford.

Police confirmed that three of those arrested in the city were from Hereford.

They remain in police custody for questioning on drugs supply.