A CLAMPDOWN which caught 10 drug dealers has been hailed a “fantastic success” by the police.

Operation Artery saw undercover police officers buy class A drugs on the streets, in parks or from houses in Bury and Radcliffe.

The dealers, who all worked individually, have now been jailed for a total of more than 39 years.

Inspector Charlotte Cadden, from Bury East neighbourhood policing team, said: “Operation Artery has been a fantastic success and I hope that we can repeat it. This has taken drug suppliers off the streets and made class A drugs more difficult to buy.

“One of the major effects is that it has improved the lives of residents, who were faced with drug users and dirty needles outside their homes. It is also much safer for children to play outside now.”

The police used information from members of the community to target people believed to be selling class A drugs in Bury and Radcliffe.

Undercover police officers bought heroin and crack cocaine from dealers in test purchases carried out from January to March this year.

They then carried out a series of early morning raids on June 29, arresting people at houses in Radcliffe, Bury and Bolton.

Officers from Radcliffe and Bury East neighbourhood policing teams took part in the raids, along with the police’s tactical aid unit and drugs dogs.

Louise Donoghue, of Alfred Street, Bury, was the final person to be sentenced when she appeared at Bolton Crown Court last Thursday.

The 30-year-old was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, as well as a 12-month supervision order, for being involved in the supply of class A drugs.

During hearings held last month, the other drug dealers were sentenced at the same court. Mary Gildea, aged 39, of HMP Styal, was sentenced to a total of eight years and six months in prison for supplying class A drugs and other drugs offences. Her home, in Fairfield Drive, Bury, was boarded up by police in March after it was used as a drugs den.

Both Michael Watson, aged 35, of Loxham Street, Farnworth, and Mark Braiden, aged 47, of Windsor Court, Radcliffe, were jailed for a total of seven years for supplying class A drugs and other drugs offences.

Also jailed for supplying class A drugs were: Christopher Floyd, aged 39, of Rydal Close, Bury, for three years and eight months; Curtis Walker, aged 31, of Kingfisher Drive, Bury, for four years; Daniel Foreacre, aged 21, of Seymour Court, Radcliffe, for three years; Leon Cooper, aged 19, of Webster Grove, Prestwich, for three years; and Anthony McDonald, aged 52, of Powell Street, Bury, for three years.

Terence Moore, aged 51, of Kilburn Road, Radcliffe, was sentenced to a community order for two years for supplying class A drugs.

Paul Whittles, aged 42, of Tennyson Avenue, Bury, was charged with supplying class A drugs and sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, along with a supervision requirement.

After the court hearings, Detective Sergeant Stuart Barker, from Bury CID, said: “Drug crime destroys communities, fuels a whole range of other crimes, breaks up families and wastes lives. These convictions show our determination to tackle a problem which causes untold misery to law-abiding neighbours.

“It is important to send out a firm message to those determined to make a living out of this type of crime that their actions will not be tolerated.”