THE first mephedrone drugs raids on Teesside - and possibly the UK - have been hailed a resounding success by officers.
Two addresses have so far been targeted – Nightingale Road in Eston and West Dyke Road in Redcar.
The three people arrested from Nightingale Road are two women aged 40 and 25 and a 24-year-old man, all on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs.
A quantity of what are believed to be Class B drugs were seized with paraphernalia and a quantity of cash.
All were taken into custody and are helping with inquiries at Middlesbrough Police HQ.
Det Inspector Dave Mead, of Redcar and Cleveland Police, led the operation.
He said: “Our message is we’re cracking down hard - and will continue to do so.”
Yesterday, the Gazette joined the first police raid on Teesside targeting the synthetic drug since it was banned in the UK at midnight on Thursday.
Operation Bast was a major crackdown on suspected Teesside mephedrone dealers.
Special drugs officers raided a house at Nightingale Road, Eston after breaking in the door at 8.50am.
Officers said they found a quantity of mephedrone and amphetamine.
DS Nigel McCartney, of Redcar Drugs Unit, said: “Our first raids targeting mephedrone in Cleveland have been a success after what are believed to be Class B drugs were seized and three arrests made.
“Our message to the community is to pass on any information you may have about drugs activity in your area to your local officers and we will always act upon intelligence.”
He said the mephedrone seized - the first ever on Teesside - was of the brown crystalline variety.
The drug is increasingly popular on Teesside and is used by teenagers as young as 14 and nightclubbers.
Around 30 officers were involved in the raids.
The tough move follows the Government’s banning of mephedrone and its classification as a Class B drug.
DI Mead described the effects of the new man-made drug - which has been circulating less than a year - as “terrifying”.
The dangers of taking the drug, also known as meow meow, MCAT or bubbles, have been highlighted by the deaths of a number of young people in the UK and abroad which have been linked to the drug.
The drug can also cause heart problems and seizures, the risk of which increase if combined with alcohol or other drugs.
Several European countries have also banned the drug.
On Teesside it’s cheap - mephedrone costs just £10-£20 for a gram wrap on the street, while cocaine is £40.
Anyone caught in possession of the drug faces up to five years’ prison and dealers caught supplying can get up to 14 years in jail.
April 17, 2010