A MAN has been charged in connection with supplying class A drugs after a police probe culminated in officers conducting a drugs bust.

Essex Police’s Op Raptor North team, which focuses on dismantling and disrupting the illicit organisations responsible for directing drug runners, has spent months on the investigation.

The probe was working to disrupt an illicit operation bringing heroin and crack cocaine from London to the streets of Braintree.

This work culminated in coordinated action on Thursday, May 9, with a vehicle stop and warrant executed in Braintree, and a further warrant executed at an address in Stratford, London.

The vehicle stop resulted in an arrest and the seizure of cash and a suspected drug line phone.

From the Stratford address, a large sum of cash and an offensive weapon, a baton, were seized.

Dylan Martin, 31, of Wellby Close, London, has now been charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine, possessing an offensive weapon in a private place and possessing criminal property.

He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, May 11, and was remanded in custody until a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, June 10.

Responding to rising concerns, Det Sgt Jonathan Stephenson, of Raptor North, said: “We have worked with community policing team colleagues to tackle rising concerns within Braintree around drug dealing, which we can associate directly to a drug line of interest.

“Within our Raptor teams, we target these lines, monitor and gather evidence, before conducting strikes against them.

“It’s absolutely vital where residents see and become aware of drug activity, they report these issues to us.

“Even if an immediate response isn’t apparent, there is always work going on behind the scenes and these reports help us hugely in building up a picture of where issues are arising.”

Police have been conducting targeted patrols dedicated to hotspot areas in Braintree and across the county.

These patrols are used to combat issues such as drug-driven violence and possession of weapons.

Four of the hotspots are in Southend, with three in Basildon, two in Colchester, and one in each of Chelmsford, Harlow, Clacton, Braintree, Grays and Brentwood.