During a week of joint police action named Operation Mantis..

A total of Thirteen arrests have been made, with seven of those being charged in relation to the supply of illegal drugs. 

During the raids more than £32,000 was seized, as well as significant amounts of addictive class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin).

Between Monday 17 May and Friday 21 May the Team carried out operations in cross border drug trafficking and with 11 warrants for addresses in Stevenage and Walkern, by the Mantis team, supported by Local Policing Command officers.   Arrests were also made at addresses in Birmingham, with support from the West Midlands Police. 

Those caught and charged were:

  • Rayquarn Ashby, 18, from Red Hawk Close, Lincoln, charged for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs
  • Onome Omonseh, 23, from Deans Drive, London, charged for conspiracy to supply class A drugs
  • Naeem Ahmed, 25, of Warren Farm Road, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs
  • Abdullah Milash, 24, of Merryhill Drive, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession with intent to supply class A drugs
  • Alfie Eaves, 26, of, Park Road, Moseley, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs
  • Sharmina Islam, 25, of, Cophall Street, Tipton, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs
  • Iyesha Mahmood, 23, of, Scotland Street, Birmingham, charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession with intent to supply class A drugs

Six others were also arrested:

  • A 24-year-old man from Birmingham, for suspicion to supply class A drugs
  • A 27-year-old man from London, for suspicion of the supply of class A drugs
  • A 24-year-old man from London, a 25-year-old man from Luton, a 20-year-old man from Luton, a 23-year-old man from Luton, all arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

All have been released whilst investigations continue.

Forces across the UK carried out similar operations with support from the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre (NCLCC) and Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, as part of a national drive, to disrupt and arrest those involved in County Lines.

Detective Inspector Alex Willcox, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Command, said: “This latest week of action is part of our continuing drive to disrupt and dismantle County Lines gangs operating in the county. We have made a number of significant arrests, seizing large amounts of drugs and cash in the process, doing substantial damage to these gangs’ operations.

“We take a very proactive approach, working with our partners in other forces and national agencies to make it difficult for these organisations to operate in our towns, identifying new gangs and targeting them early before they get a foothold and serious offences can occur.

“Police forces across the country took part in the coordinated week of action to target those who are involved in drugs supply and exploiting vulnerable people. We continue to work with partners at national and local level, to target these gangs and also to raise awareness of County Lines among young people, parents, teachers and other members of the community to help protect the vulnerable and prevent them from getting involved in gang activity.”

Since May 2019 the Mantis team has made 211 arrests and seized over £175,000 in cash.  This led to several County Lines gangs being dismantled.

County line drug dealing involves criminal networks from urban areas expanding their activities into smaller towns and rural areas.

Sometimes unfortunately has been know to involve children.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101 or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

If someone you know has a drug problem, they can get help by contacting Frank on 0800 77 66 00 or visiting www.talktofrank.com.