Two men and one woman have been arrested and 770 nitrous oxide cannisters seized, as part of ongoing work to tackle county lines drug supply and organised crime.
The force’s county lines taskforce, as part of Project Medusa, arrested two men, aged 32 and 41 and one woman, aged 43 on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis, cocaine and nitrous oxide.
While on patrol in St Helens, officers stopped two men and a woman in a Ford Galaxy. Following searches at their addresses in St Helens, officers seized 770 cannisters of nitrous oxide, with a value of £5,000, £20,000 cash, cannabis and cocaine.
Possession of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is now a Class C drug controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
They are currently in custody where they will be questioned by detectives.
Detective Sergeant Carl Lynch said: “This arrest is part of the proactive work we are carrying out to ensure we tackle county lines drug dealing in our communities.
“Nitrous oxide is now illegal and those caught possessing it will face consequences. This is a significant recovery of 770 cannisters of nitrous oxide, and other Class A and B drugs. Abuse of nitrous oxide is dangerous and is often linked to antisocial behaviour and criminality.
“We would encourage people to familiarise themselves with the law changes and think about the possible consequences of possessing or selling this illegal drug.
“We are relentless in disrupting and bringing offenders to justice, whilst supporting and safeguarding those most at risk of harm and exploitation. I would ask anyone who has information about this kind of activity to come forward so action can be taken.”
Since 2019, Project Medusa officers have closed 1,101 county lines; arrested 2,421 people for various offences including drug supply, firearms offences and money laundering; and identified 1,256 vulnerable adults and children who have been referred to safeguarding services.
Anyone who has any information about County Lines drug dealing in their area or anyone who is concerned about someone who may be being exploited by these gangs, can contact @CrimestoppersUK completely anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact 101. In an emergency always contact 999.