Drugs worth thousands of pounds and a gun were found at a stash house in Nottingham leaving terrified neighbours in shock. It comes as the final two members of an organised crime group were sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court on January 20.
It was revealed that around £10,000 worth of drugs and a firearm were found inside a flat on Belconnen Road, Bestwood. It took It took two years and hundreds of officers to collect enough evidence for this case.
A total of 45 people from Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire have been jailed for their part in the conspiracy. In total, they have been given 130 years and five months between them in prison, as well as community orders and suspended sentences, and three vulnerable people exploited by the groups were also identified.
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A regular visitor to the block of flats where the criminal gang were operating told Nottinghamshire Live the activity was known to him. He added: "We have known about this for years. It has been going on for years.
"People moved here for this. They were dealing cocaine, heroin. You could feel the smell of weed. Everyone knew about it."
He said he has never seen any guns inside the block. Other neighbours described seeing people 'coming and leaving' the block of flats.
Phillip Green, who lives just across the road, said: "It is a shock. I see police here quite often to be fair. But I just keep myself to myself."
Mr Green, aged 35, said the flats on Belconnen Road were built for nurses and hospital staff. "They were finished 20 years ago", he added.
He has lived in the area for about three years, adding: "I only leave the house when I have to take my dog out on a walk. I am concerned for my children, but they are very young. My daughter plays outside but she has never seen anything."
Ismat Haron, who lives in the flats on Belconnen Road, added: "This area is just dangerous. I left my motorbike outside and someone tried to steal it.
"I am not surprised at all. You could even feel the smell of weed everywhere."
The 39-year-old, a delivery driver, added: "I am always at work so I do not spend time here. I also do not get involved in anything - I like to stay out of trouble."
A resident, who wished to remain anonymous, added: "It is a lot better than it used to be - but the flats have always been very dodgy. It came to the point where it does not surprise me when I see blue lights.
"We never knew what went there. But you could notice people coming in and then leaving quickly. I always kept myself to myself.
"I have never seen any guns, I have never heard any shootings. They are not stupid - they knew what they were doing."
Detective Sergeant Adam Petty, from Lincolnshire Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit, led the operation which has seen a total of 45 people from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Lancashire jailed for their part in the conspiracy. He told Nottinghamshire Live that this was one of the largest operations that he has been involved in his career.
He added: "It was quite satisfying to be able to make a difference and do what we do because, of course, the police have invested a lot of time and money into this. I am pleased to say that we are able to show the rewards of all that hard work and hopefully make a difference.
"If we did not enforce it, they would still be going now causing misery. There would have been more violence. Given they had large knives and firearms, I have no doubt that had we not done what we did, there would have been significant violence linked to this crime group."
Det Sgt Petty added: "I want to thank all the different partner agencies and forces that got involved in this, including the British Transport Police and Nottinghamshire Police."
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