Police have arrested eight men across Devon as part of an ongoing nationwide crackdown on drug related crimes in an effort to stem the increasing trend of gangs preying on the youthful and the vulnerable in the county.
The eight men, aged between 19 and 53 are currently in police custody and are suspected of conspiring to illegally supply narcotics like heroin and cocaine.
The police also seized methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin of estimated street worth of £5million.
According to Merseyside Police Detective Chief Inspector Ian Hussey, “Vulnerable people are being coerced, groomed and threatened by violence to take part in illegal activity across the north-west and further afield.
“Many of these people feel that they have not got a choice and struggle to find a way to escape from the hurt and harm that they are enduring on a daily basis.
“We are targeting those people we believe are exploiting vulnerable people to profit from the misery of others.
“We have also been working with a range of partners, to go into schools and youth groups, to educate vulnerable young people on how they can avoid becoming a target to these criminal groups and give those vulnerable people caught up in this the confidence to break out of the cycle.”