TWO men and a woman were arrested after police raided a Leftwich pub as part of a crackdown on drug dealers.
The trio, all from Northwich, were led away in handcuffs after officers searched the Pillar of Salt on Thursday morning.
A 36-year-old man and a woman, 37, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, and a 32-year-old man – pub landlord Richard Oakes – was arrested on suspicion of possessing a prohibited weapon.
The raid, one of eight across the region on Thursday, was part of the Staffordshire Police-led Operation Nemesis and followed months of investigation and planning by the force’s Major Crime Unit.
Insp Pete Minghella, head of Northwich’s Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: “We hope this sends out the right message.
“Criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in Cheshire or anywhere else, and if we have to work with other forces to secure prosecutions, we will.”
Supt Mark Bates of Staffordshire Police added: “The arrests and searches are part of an ongoing investigation into serious drugs trafficking.
“Working with neighbouring forces means we are closing-in on drug dealers operating across the region.”
Oakes has been charged with possessing a weapon to discharge noxious liquid and will appear at Vale Royal Magistrates Court on March 27.
The 36-year-old man and the woman were released on bail pending further inquiries.
Mr Oakes, formerly of Barnton, had only recently taken over the licence at the Pillar of Salt.