Three people have been charged following an almost unprecedented drugs seizure in Moray.
Police discovered more than half a million pounds worth of illicit substances after raiding a home in Lossiemouth.
Specialist officers found cocaine, heroin, cannabis and cannabis resin suspected of being destined for the region’s communities after striking at the Cromarty Place address.
It is estimated the drugs found would have had a value of more than £560,000 if they had reached the region’s streets.
Yesterday, Thomas Christie, 20, Sasha Peel, 28 and Ayesha Phelps, 20, all from Moray, appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court in connection with the raid.
The trio are all charged with four counts of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.
All of the accused made no plea during the hearing, which was held in private, and they were all granted bail.
Last night, police admitted that some residents were likely to be “alarmed” at the size of the find close to their doorstep.
Extra patrols have been scheduled in the area in the coming days in an attempt to reassure locals.
Chief Inspector Maggie Miller, Area Commander for Moray, said: “We are committed to tackling the misuse of drugs and we rely on information from the public to help us disrupt the supply into our communities.
“Information provided helps us build a picture which enables us to undertake local operations such as this to intercept drugs before they are distributed more widely.
“Some residents may be alarmed that this quantity of drugs has been recovered in their community so local officers will be carrying out high visibility patrols and anyone with concerns is encouraged to discuss this with officers.”
Neighbours saw several police vans, unmarked cars and ambulances swoop on the address on Wednesday morning.
Officers wearing body armour raided the property before forensic teams wearing white suits scoured the home for evidence.
Locals reported seeing bags containing substances being carried into the vans before being driven away.
One woman said: “I don’t remember anything like this ever happening here before. It looked like quite a big operation and they were here for most of the day.”
Another woman said: “There are quite a lot of children living around here so something like that is a big concern.”
Heldon and Laich councillor James Allan said: “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of police in Moray finding as much drugs in one go as this.
“I hope it sends a message to the drug dealers that the police will be coming for them. Intelligence from members of the public plays a big part in this too though.”
The huge find in Lossiemouth on Wednesday came about a week after officers found a “dealer quantity” of heroin after raiding two properties in Buckie.
Ch Insp Miller added: “If anyone has concerns about drugs misuse in their street, or they’ve begun to notice unusual comings and goings I would urge them to contact us so that we are aware and can take action.”
Anyone with information should contact police by phoning 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.