30 Million Pounds of Drugs Seized in Brownhills

Senior Detectives say a haul of drugs seized in Brownhills is the largest they've seen in their careers.

Cannabis, cocaine and MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy, weighing almost 200 kilograms were uncovered at a unit on the Maybrook industrial estate in Brownhills as part of an intelligence led policing operation.

Officers raided the unit at around 5pm on Wednesday (27 November) but details have only today been released West Midlands Police following a full assessment of the haul by forensic investigators, drugs experts and the force’s top detectives.

The drugs were packed into six large cardboard boxes wrapped in cellophane and placed onto five freight pallets for discreet delivery.

When officers opened the boxes they discovered a deep layer of protective foam chips beneath which the drugs were carefully layered.

All the drugs were wrapped in thick plastic bags taped closed with the cannabis vacuum packed to prevent its distinctive pungent aroma from drawing unwanted attention.

When officers swooped on the unit the drugs were being unloaded. The haul was so large that officers needed a forklift truck to load the drugs onto a police flat-bed lorry.

Two men aged 50 and 53 from Brownhills were arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug along with a 51-year-old man from Norton in Stoke-on-Trent. All three who were arrested at the unit have been released on conditional police bail while enquiries continue.

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell, from Force CID, said: "This is the largest seizure of drugs I have secured in my 24 year career with West Midlands Police. It is also one of the largest in the force’s 39 year history."

"The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated.

"The drugs had almost certainly been packed to order ready for shipping within Britain but possibly even further afield.

"Our operation will have a national effect and we are working closely with a range of law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in this crime at whatever level."

Following the raid involving 30 officers the drugs were taken to a police building in the West Midlands where they remain under lock and key with a constant 24 hour guard.

Experts continue to chemically analyse the substances. Conservative estimates put the drugs value at £10 million but purity tests could see the value of the seizure rocket to £30 million.

Seizure tally:

• Cannabis x 120 1kg bags

• Cocaine x 5 1kg bricks

• MDMA x 50 1kg bags

"Some people may be under the perception that ‘recreational drugs’ such as these don’t harm anyone. The truth is they cause considerable harm," added DS Russell. "Dealers are unscrupulous individuals. The drugs are incredibly harmful and can be cut with potentially deadly chemicals. The labs where they are made are highly dangerous environments which put neighbours at risk and those behind drug crime are almost always involved in gun crime, people trafficking and exploitation.

“Fortunately, West Midlands Police has a long track record of bringing serious and organised crime groups to justice."

"As well as securing convictions we will also look to seize any assets such as cars, jewellery and even houses bought through the proceeds of their crimes."

A large team of detectives continue to hunt those responsible but will not compromise the ongoing investigation by elaborating on the length of time the police operation has been running.

To shop a drug dealer people should call police on 101 or the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.