Milton Keynes man charged in 'biggest ever' organised crime crackdown involving class A drugs

Police secured five warrants in Milton Keynes and Luton in the most recent phase of the operation

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 10:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 10:38 am

A Milton Keynes man was among the four arrested and charged in a major organised crime crackdown.

Bedfordshire Police has called, 'Operation Costello', its biggest ever investigation into the world of gangs and class A drug supply.

The man from Milton Keynes was cuffed alongside three men from Luton, after five search warrants were sent out in both towns.

A Milton Keynes man was among the four most recent arrests

All four men face multiple charges which include: conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and encouraging/assisting an offender.

While scanning these properties officers also bagged a number of communication devices and around £2,000.

Bedfordshire Police say this investigation is specifically concerned with how criminals use encrypted phones.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesperson said: "Cracking the encryption on these specialist devices has enabled detectives to shine a light on the networks suspected of being involved in the highest levels of serious and organised crime across the country."

This operation has been backed by the government, it was awarded £3.6 million funding and previously £2.1 million was pledged to the project.

Since Operation Costello was launched just over a year ago, 110 warrants have been carried out, 55 people have been arrested and 34 people charged.

Detective Superintendent Nick Skipworth, who is leading Operation Costello, said: “This is one of the biggest and most important organised crime operations we have ever carried out as a force and the results we have achieved so far are a testament to how we are tackling this and making Bedfordshire a hostile place for organised criminal networks to operate.

“We are currently recruiting a dedicated and specialist team which will focus solely on tackling gangs suspected of being involved in serious offending such as large-scale drugs importation and weapons trafficking.

"The extra funding is a real statement of intent of the force’s commitment and determination to root out and attack organised crime. However, we do need our communities to speak up and help us target those individuals, who, for too long, have enjoyed their illegal spoils at the cost of others' quality of life.”

The police advise anyone with information about drug dealing, county lines or child criminal exploitation can contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or via the force’s online reporting centre.

All of these reports are fed into police intelligence systems and can help officers build up a better picture of organised crime.

You can also report information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.