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Gang of 23 charged following investigation into Darwen drug supply

TWENTY-three people have been charged over a conspiracy to flood East Lancashire’s streets with millions of pounds worth of drugs.

A further five people have been arrested as part of the investigation into an organised criminal gang suspected of importing heroin, amphetamine, cocaine and cannabis into Darwen before distributing it further afield.

During the operation, which saw raids at addresses in Darwen, Blackburn, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and London, police found large amounts of class A and class B drugs, as well as weapons, illegally-imported cigarettes, mobile phones, hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash and designer watches.

A mill in Hollins Grove, Darwen, suspected of being used as a packaging base for drugs, saw the discovery of 10 kilos of amphetamine and a large amount of cutting agent used to reduce the purity of the drug.

A 35-year-old man from Salford has been arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. He has since been released under investigation.

A man from Blackburn, two men from Darwen and a woman from Barrow, Cumbria, all arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply controlled drugs, have also since been released under investigation.

A Darwen woman arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply drugs has been released without charge.

The 23 people charged are:

n Zachariah Deaffern, 31, of Turncroft Road, Darwen, is charged with conspiring to supply heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis. He is also charged with conspiring to import cannabis.

n Sam Stone, 58, of Lees Court, Darwen, is charged with conspiring to supply heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis. He is also charged with conspiring to import cannabis and possession of a prohibited weapon.

n John Rowe, 53, of Lynthorpe Road, Blackburn, is charged with conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis. He is also charged with conspiring to import cannabis.

n Ashley Morris, 31, of Waters Edge, Middleton, is charged with conspiring to supply heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis.

n Hasret Ramadani, 23, of Queens Road, Blackburn, is charged with conspiring to supply amphetamine and cannabis.

n Pajtim Shehu, 41, of no fixed address, is charged with conspiring to supply cannabis.

n Dexter Ryan, 59, of Avon Close, Blackburn, is charged with conspiring to import and supply cannabis.

n Phillip Peters, 41, of Edward Tyler Road, London, is charged with conspiring to supply and import cannabis, being concerned in the supply of cocaine and money laundering.

n James Moran, 33, of Holden Fold, Darwen, is charged with conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis.

n Phillip Alderson, 34, of Bolton Road, Darwen, is charged with conspiring to supply heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis.

n Sean Bradshaw, 55, of Leven Grove, Darwen, is charged with conspiring to supply amphetamine.

n John Cropper, 45, of Roseway Avenue, Cadishead, is charged with conspiring to supply amphetamine.

n Joshua Main, 25, of Ivinson Road, Darwen, is charged with conspiring to supply cocaine and cannabis.

n Jake McCosh, 25, of Pitville Street, Darwen, is charged with conspiring to supply cocaine.

n Anthony Richardson, 38, of Mackenzie Street, Bolton, is charged with conspiring to supply amphetamine.

n Colin Eyres, 43, of Rake Lane, Swinton, is charged with conspiring to supply cannabis and money laundering.

n Deon Houghton, 36, of Cunliffe Close, Blackburn is charged with conspiring to supply cannabis.

n Joanne Smith, 49, of Elswick Street, Darwen is charged with conspiring to supply cannabis.

n Andrew Berry, 30, of Hadrian’s Camp, Carlisle, is charged with conspiring to supply cannabis.

n Richard Panter, 35, of Longsight Road, Ramsbottom, is charged with conspiring to supply cannabis.

n Lee Booth, 35, of Holcombe Road, Greenmount, is charged with producing cannabis.

n Ernest Williams, 55, of Meadow Walk, Farnworth, is charged with possession with intent to supply drugs and possessing criminal property.

They have all appeared before Blackburn Magistrates Court.

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