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12 January 2018, 17:46 | Updated: 12 January 2018, 18:03
A gang of drug dealers based in Gateshead who were found with around £2.6million worth of cocaine and heroin have been jailed for 52 years.
Six men have been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court today for a conspiracy that saw them flood the North East with Class A substances.
They were also found with £400,000 in cash.
The operation saw organised crime groups work with associates in Liverpool to transport the drugs to their base in Gateshead.
It was from here that the drugs were then distributed to dealers across the region.
An investigation was launched after police were notified of the group's activity through a separate inquiry.
Detectives from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit then started gathering intelligence before executing warrants in both Gateshead an Liverpool in February 2015.
Detective inspector Phil Shutt, from NERSOU, said:
"This is a fantastic result and has made a significant dent in the pockets of drug dealers here in the North East."
"A huge amount of work went in to this case and it is extremely satisfying for our detectives to see these men handed lengthy custodial sentences."
"They thought they were above the law and that they would never get caught - ultimately they were no match for our detectives who caught them red handed."
"We know that there are other organised crime groups of this nature and results like this should send a really strong message for anyone who thinks thay can get away with this."
"Our detectives are watching you, they are ready to strike, they are ready to put you before the court and it is just a matter of time before you end up behind bars too."