A SUSPECTED drug dealer from Winsford has been charged as part of a major police operation.

Kyle Kirton, 22 and of Esk Road, has been charged with two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs (cocaine) and possession of criminal property.

His arrest came as part of a week-long national initiative during which Cheshire Police shut down 14 individual county lines.

Detective Inspector Robert Balfour, of the force's Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “Preventing and protecting Cheshire’s communities from serious and organised crime is a key focus for the constabulary.

"Dismantling county lines is daily business for the force, who work alongside our neighbouring forces and regional assets to deal with this kind of criminality - I can assure our Cheshire community that we tackle county lines in our everyday policing not just when there is a national operation.

"This week has provided an excellent opportunity to highlight what we are doing to protect communities and individuals, and directly target the individuals responsible for dealing any drug across Cheshire.

"Over the last 12 months, we have had great success dismantling county lines. We are closing more lines than ever before, achieving lengthy custodial sentences for line controllers and our own county lines team approaching 200 years worth of sentences in little over a year.”

A county line can be operated by an organised crime group or individuals who use devices to deal drugs to users.

Between March 4 and 10, Cheshire Police increased patrols and carried out warrants as they closed 14 lines across Warrington, Winsford, Chester and Ellesmere Port.

In total, 32 people were arrested and over £40,000 of Class A drugs was seized, along with £350,000 in cash as well as designer watches, clothing, computer equipment, bikes, cars, vans and drones which had been purchased with the money made by these operations.

Police also recovered numerous weapons including knives, knuckle dusters, batons, machetes and a stun gun.

Going forward, police continue to urge anyone with information about illegal drug activity to report it via the Cheshire Police or Crimestoppers website.

DI Balfour added: “The problem has not gone away; we still have a lot of work to do and will continue to work with our partners and the local communities we serve to attack this form of criminality and protect whom it affects.”

Every person charged during Cheshire Police's county lines operation

Arrested in Winsford

  • Kyle Kirton, 22, of Esk Road, Winsford - 2x Supply of class A drugs (cocaine), possession of criminal property

Arrested in Warrington

  • Daniel Dobbs, 24, of Dorrington Walk, Liverpool - Supply of class A drugs (Heroin and Cocaine), possession of a bladed article, possession of criminal property

Arrested in Ellesmere Port (all charged with supply of class B drugs (cannabis))

  • Kyle Phillips, 27, of Capenhurst Way, Ellesmere Port
  • Jason Mayers, 32, of Princess Road, Ellesmere Port
  • Ryan Neild, 24, of Luton Road, Ellesmere Port
  • Daniel Neild, 32, of Luton Road, Ellesmere Port
  • Adam Jones, of Durham Court, Ellesmere Port
  • Gary Tushingham, 27, of Acre Road, Ellesmere Port
  • Aiden Johnson, 30, of Kenilworth Court, Ellesmere Port
  • Thomas Cooper, 22, of Brightsmith Road, Ellesmere Port
  • Curtis Agarry, 26, of King Street, Ellesmere Port
  • Ethan McLaughlin, 22, of King Street, Ellesmere Port
  • Joe Henry, 33, of Blacon Point Road, Ellesmere Port
  • Nathan Elliot 30, of Faraday Road, Ellesmere Port
  • Bailey Davies, 24, of Bath Street, Rhyl