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Drug dealers: ‘We will catch you and you will pay dearly’

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A WAR on the drugs trade has been declared as the States police today launch a major crackdown on organised crime following the death of a teenager last week.

Targeted raids have already taken place across the Island – with more to come – and class A and B drugs as well as cash have been seized as part of the probe, codenamed Operation Shark. The force say Jersey’s drugs trade puts a strain on the health system and tears families apart.

Since Sunday – the day after 19-year-old James Le Bourgeois died following a suspected reaction to the class A drug MDMA – police have arrested 13 people aged between 17 and 43. Two men, Rorey Allo (19) and Stephen Bates (38) have appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on suspicion of possession with intent to supply. They were both remanded in custody.

Islanders are being urged to save the police number – 612612 – in their phones and report anything suspicious or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Drugs and cash seized so far (27234463)

Chief Inspector Mark Hafey, who is leading the operation, said: ‘The supply, distribution and use of illicit controlled drugs across our Island community does untold damage, including to our children and young people – often fatal, as we saw last weekend, following the tragic death of a 19 year old man – the second drug related death in the last six months.

‘We need the public’s help with this, you know your community and you know when something doesn’t look right. Your eyes and ears can be more far reaching than ours, if you hear or see anything suspicious please call us. Information from the public is vital and your call could be instrumental in helping us to protect a vulnerable person or disrupt the supply of drugs within our community.’

Ashleigh Green (29) died in the summer after a suspected ‘severe reaction’ to MDMA.

States police chief Robin Smith, who joined the force in January, has vowed to ‘ferociously pursue’ organised crime groups in Jersey.

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Last year the JEP reported that intelligence units had mapped 11 criminal gangs with links to the UK and Europe who were known to target Jersey for its drugs trade.

Two Merseyside-based drug dealers said Jersey was attractive to bigger players in the UK because of the sky-high street prices and a lack of gang-on-gang violence.

An individual deal of heroin is worth about £50 in Jersey and contains 0.05g of the class A drug. In England, a deal can cost as little as £10 and contain twice as much of the drug.

Chief Insp Hafey added: ‘Our message to drug dealers is clear – we will catch you and you will pay dearly.’

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
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