HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds worth of suspected drugs have been seized during dawn raids at 17 homes.

Among those arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cannabis and money laundering was Kenny Langford, the manager at AFC Darwen.


Lancashire Telegraph:

He stood down from his position at the club yesterday because of “personal reasons”.

Six men in total were arrested as a result of the warrants, which were carried out in Darwen and Whalley in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Officers struck in a series of co-ordinated raids at the houses and said they had stopped the potential supply of around £200,000 worth of cannabis. As well as uncovering a suspected sophisticated cannabis production setup, around 600 plants with a “significant value” were found.

Police said they were acting on intelligence gained by observing activity at the properties, which included Cross Barn Grove, Epworth Street and Tunnel Street, all in Darwen.

In Clitheroe Road, Whalley, two rooms at a large detached property, which was set back off the road, were filled with what appeared to be a cannabis factory.

It is estimated more than 200 mature plants were found at this address.

Det Insp Mark Vaughton said: “As a result of police activity and observations, we were able to establish what we believe to be a group of individuals involved in the supply of cannabis in and about the Darwen area.

“A number of search warrants were executed at 17 premises.

“From those warrants, nine premises were found to have what we suspect to be amounts of cannabis growing in them.”

Other Darwen premises visited were in Cranberry Fold Court, Anyon Street, Priory Grange, Limes Avenue, Cross Barn Grove, Sough Road, garages at St John’s Close and Liberty’s Beauty Salon, in Railway Road.

In Pendlebury, Salford, addresses in Brindley Street and St John’s Street were raided.

A 66-year-old man from Whalley and five men, aged 63, 47, 40, 32, and 23, all from Darwen were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cannabis.

Wayne Wild, the chairman of AFC Darwen, confirmed Langford, who had been the manager at the club since 2010, has resigned. He said: “Kenny has decided, for personal reasons, to stand down as manager.

“In terms of the club, we will be carrying on as normal on Saturday with the rest of the management team.”

Det Insp Vaughton said police were continuing to investigate people suspected of being involved in the supply of drugs.

He said: “We want to reassure people that we will bring people involved in supplying drugs or any other criminal matters to justice.”

The detective encouraged anybody with information to call police on 101.

Or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.