SEVEN men have been arrested following a series of early morning drugs raids at homes in Chester, Flintshire and Merseyside.

Officers discovered two cannabis farms containing a large number of plants, including one at a property in Lache Park Avenue, Chester, when they carried out eight search warrants today (February 26).

Cash and a small quantity of Class A drugs were also seized during the dawn raids.

As a result of the Cheshire Constabulary-led operation, which also included support from officers at North Wales and Merseyside police forces, seven men aged between 22 and 41 have been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.

They are currently in custody helping officers with their enquiries.

The raids were carried out Lache Park Avenue, Countess Court and Downham Place in Chester, Park Avenue and High Street in Saltney, New Road in Mold, and Dale End Road and Moss Lane in Wirral.

Detective Inspector Nick Henderson, of Chester LPU, said: “Today’s arrests follow a lengthy investigation into those believed to be involved in the production and supply of illegal drugs in our city.

“Drugs have a hugely detrimental impact on communities, causing widespread misery. As such, cutting off supplies of illegal drugs and removing drug dealers from our communities is of paramount importance.

“Protecting vulnerable people who are the victims of such crimes is also vitally important to us.

“Today’s operation, conducted by the team here at Chester, will undoubtedly play a crucial role in disrupting serious and organised crime and send out a very clear message that the supply of illegal drugs will not be tolerated.”

The investigation has been led by Detective Sergeant Stuart Needham from Chester Local Policing Unit.

He said: “I welcome today’s arrests and I hope that they provide reassurance to our communities that we are committed to doing all we can to tackle this type of criminality.

“There is misery behind every drug deal, and although we do extensive work with our partners to break the cycle of serious and organised crime we cannot achieve this alone.

“We need the public to be our eyes and ears and to come forward with information regarding drug dealing in their communities.

“Your support is crucial in the ongoing fight against county lines drug dealing and all other forms of serious and organised crime.

“Together we can help to keep vulnerable people and our communities safe. Suspected drug dealing activity can be reported directly to the team here at Chester by calling 101.

“Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable speaking to a police officer then you can give information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”