Drug dealers are being watched, say police
DRUG dealers in Cheltenham be warned – the police are watching you.
That's the message from the county force after an operation ended in the conviction of three men for dealing drugs in the town.
Officers say they are prepared to spend time and resources on gathering evidence to send dealers to prison.
It follows intelligence gathering and a large-scale police operation that foiled a heroin supply racket running in Cheltenham.
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Drug dealers Romain Morrison and Tyrone Pryce, both from London, were finally brought to justice in a targeted crackdown.
More than 20 officers worked in covert and overt operations which resulted in their arrest.
Morrison, 22, of Laurence Way, Neasden, London, and Pryce, 33, of Loraine Road, Holloway, London, were convicted by a jury after a five-day trial at Gloucester Crown Court.
A third man, Mathies Nyamuhiri, pleaded guilty and is in custody awaiting sentence.
All three are due to be sentenced on July 20.
They had plotted to supply heroin from houses in Victoria Street and St George's Road in Cheltenham in August 2010.
Speaking after the court case, PC Jane Harris said the case should send a warning to organised crime gangs operating in Cheltenham.
She said: "This is a success for Gloucestershire police against drugs dealers within the town and would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of officers from a variety of departments working together to present a strong case to the court.
"This case should send a message to organised crime groups within Gloucestershire that the police will not tolerate those who are causing harm within the community and are dedicated to bringing offenders to justice."
The convictions were the result of the police's Operation Grenadier.
Several weeks of intelligence-gathering saw officers identify a property in Victoria Street that was being used for drug dealing.
Over a period of two days in August 2010, police observed the house and identified the three men.
PC Harris said: "During the final phase of the operation, more than 20 officers were involved in overt and covert police activity. This resulted in the arrest of the three defendants and a quantity of heroin being seized.
"The investigation was complicated with large amounts of evidence requiring analysis."
During the trial, Judge Jamie Tabor revealed to the jury that many of the people seen going to and from the houses in Cheltenham to see Morrison and Pryce were drug addicts known to the police.
The jury watched police surveillance videos showing people going to and from the Victoria Street premises.