Police smash Cheetham Hill drugs ring as Operation Cairo plucks 45 dealers off Manchester’s streets

By Danielle Wainwright

One of the most successful ever drug crackdowns in Manchester saw three men jailed today as police operation removes 45th narcotic dealer off the streets.

Operation Cairo has amassed a total of 144 years prison time from those charged in connection with drug dealing in Cheetham Hill.

Arslan Aftab, 23, of Hillwood Avenue, pleaded guilty to six counts of supplying class A drugs, with William Seaborn, 38, of Gartland Walk, pleading guilty to 10 counts. Both were jailed at Manchester Crown Court for three years.

Dean Rix, 21, of Swanton Walk, Cheetham Hill, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and was sentenced to five years, seven months at Manchester Crown Court.

Chief Inspector Marcus Noden, who polices the Cheetham Hill area, said: “Drugs make people’s lives a misery and reduce the quality of everyday life for local residents. So when the people of Cheetham Hill came and told us about an issue with drug dealing in their area, we needed to respond.

“Drug dealing appeared to be on the increase in Cheetham Hill and Crumpsall, to the extent that those involved appeared not to care that they were doing this in broad daylight.

“We therefore carried out a detailed operation, working closely with the community to tackle the problem.”

Investigations began in summer 2012 as North Manchester police received a number of complaints about on-street dealing in broad daylight.

The operation culminated in dawn raids in October 2012 and April 2013, with almost 60 homes being searched, with the discovery of a gun that sentenced Marcel Madden.

CI Nolan said: “The residents who helped accompanied us on the raids we carried out to make arrests, so they could see first-hand what we were doing. This is what we mean by policing for and with our communities.

“We are well aware however that the fight against the supply of drugs and the organised crime groups behind it is an on-going one, initiatives such as Operation Challenger show this is a fight we are more than committed to.

“As for the people of Cheetham Hill, we will continue to work closely with residents, partner agencies and drugs workers who have also been on hand to support those who have suffered from drug abuse.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “I saw first-hand the hard work of the police in carrying out this operation and today these criminals have been put behind bars for a very long time, no longer able to bring misery to our communities.

“This is good news for local people and is thanks to their help and determination in standing up to these so called Mr Bigs. This is what local policing is all about – working with the community to tackle crime and build safer neighbourhoods, and today’s result shows it really works.”

Anyone with information about drug-related activity in their area should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Picture of GMP logo courtesy of The Laird of Oldham via Flickr, with thanks.

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