A Stevenage man who was part of a national gang dealing class A drugs has been jailed for six years following a five-month police operation.

Neil Falanga, aged 38, of Aldeburgh Close in Stevenage, was part of a gang supplying class A drugs into Leicestershire and Hertfordshire from Nottinghamshire, Merseyside and Cambridgeshire.

During a police operation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, more than a kilogram of cocaine was seized from a Mercedes near Castle Donington, half a kilogram of heroin was recovered from an Astra near Leicester and £35,000 was found hidden in a dustbin in Liverpool. Half a kilogram of cocaine and £8,500 cash was also recovered after being thrown out of the Mercedes.

Nine men - including Falanga - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and were jailed for between 12 years and two years four months. A tenth man was acquitted.

Detective inspector James Avery said: "This was an organised group of drug dealers with national reach.

"With the main players now behind bars, and heroin and cocaine with a street value of £170,000 removed from circulation, we see yet another criminal enterprise dismantled and communities across the country no longer suffering the harm caused by them.

"But we're not stopping there. The next stop is recovering their criminal proceeds through the Proceeds of Crime Act."