England

Charges after Rugby drugs raids

Police executing a warrant
Image caption Warrants were executed in Rugby, Coventry and Birmingham, under Operation Laser

A total of 18 people have been charged following a series of raids carried out to stamp out "serious and organised crime" in a Warwickshire town.

Warrants were executed in Rugby, Coventry and Birmingham under Operation Laser, which involved more than 300 police officers.

The charges were connected with the supply of class A drugs in Rugby.

Warwickshire Police said it was the largest operation of its kind the force had undertaken.

The initiative had been planned for nearly a year, police claimed.

At 06:00 GMT on Tuesday officers from the force, supported by West Mercia Police officers, executed warrants at 22 addresses, most of them in Rugby.

One person was arrested in the afternoon in London.

The 16 men and two women are from Rugby, Birmingham and Coventry and range in age from 25 to 47.

They were charged with a variety of offences concerning the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.

One man was also charged with criminal damage.

The charges were made on Tuesday and all 18 were remanded overnight, appearing at Nuneaton Magistrates' Court earlier.

A 22-year-old man was bailed on Tuesday pending further inquiries and a 38-year-old man remains in police custody.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites