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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 12:05 GMT
Arrests in US drug supply inquiry
Police in Bo'ness
Police also raided business premises in Bo'ness
A couple have been arrested in connection with an international inquiry into illegal drug production.

Officers from Central Scotland Police made the arrests in Bo'ness, near Falkirk, on behalf of the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

Brian Howes, 43, from Middlesbrough, and 28-year-old Kerry Ann Shanks, from Bo'ness are facing extradition.

Cleveland Police and the Scottish force have been involved in a two-year probe into Crystal Meth production.

The investigation focused on the alleged supply of chemicals involved in production of the synthetic drug - also known as methamphetamine - to individuals in the US, Europe and Australia.

Howes and Shanks were arrested today over the alleged supply of chemicals to individuals believed to be involved in the production of methamphetamine
Det Supt Dave Duffey
Cleveland Police

As well as the arrests, police also swooped on business addresses in Bo'ness.

A major police operation in June, involving up to 250 officers, saw a raid on the couple's alleged distribution centre in Grangemouth.

Mr Howes and Ms Shanks, who police said had lived for some time in Cleveland, are expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday, in relation to extradition proceedings.

Det Supt Dave Duffey, of Cleveland Police, said: "This has been a complex and wide-ranging investigation which first began two years ago.

'Complex investigation'

"Howes and Shanks were arrested today over the alleged supply of chemicals to individuals believed to be involved in the production of methamphetamine."

Det Supt Allan Moffat, of Central Scotland Police, moved to reassure the public that there was no danger to the community.

"This has been a lengthy and complex investigation which has involved a number of agencies," he said.

Crystal Meth, a popular dance culture drug, was recently reclassified as a class A substance in the UK in an attempt to clamp down on its use.

Its use can lead to paranoia, violent behaviour, kidney failure and internal bleeding.


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