FIVE more people have appeared before Blackburn magistrates charged with conspiracy to supply drugs as a result of a major police operation centred on Accrington.

The court was told the arrests relate to a police operation, codenamed Thunder, which has targeted a county lines drug gang, specifically using juveniles to peddle drugs.

Four of the latest to appear in court charged with conspiracy to supply drugs were teenagers.

Katie Beattie, prosecuting, said 18 people have now been charged with the conspiracy.

She said much of the evidence came from "burner" phones which were provided to the dealers by those higher up the chain.

She said the operation appeared to be highly organised on a commercial basis and included offers of free delivery with £50 worth of drugs.

Tyler Jerome Branche, 22, and Leroy Wright, 19, both of Lion Street, Church, were committed in custody to Burnley Crown Court charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis.

The juveniles, two aged 17 and one 16, were remanded on bail until the same day. The two 17-year-olds are charged with conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine and the 16-year-old with conspiring to supply cannabis.

All defendants charged with the conspiracy will appear at the crown court on January 4.