DRUGS destined for Hampshire’s streets that would have been worth a staggering £1million have been found dumped in a wood.
The huge stash was discovered by a walker, hidden in fields next to one of the region’s busiest motorways.
Detectives say the drugs were found packaged up inside supermarket plastic freezer bags which were all bundled together inside one large bag.
It is understood they may have been left there for safe-keeping by dealers intent on plying their trade on the streets of Southampton and surrounding areas.
The packages were sent off for forensic testing which found they contained cocaine that had been prepared ready for sale and had a street value of £50,000.
But also inside the bags was a substantial amount of a legal drug called Benzocaine – a powder regularly used to “cut” cocaine before it is sold.
Detectives say there was so much of the cutting agent – a form of local anaesthetic – that it would have created more than £1million of cocaine most likely destined for sale on local streets.
The massive discovery was made in February this year but details have only just been disclosed by detectives who have so far been unable to find out how the drugs got there – and who dumped them.
The investigation is being run by officers from the Operation Fortress team – a Daily Echo-backed campaign to rid Southampton and surrounding areas of drugs and related high-end violence.
Now police are hoping people will help shed light on who might be responsible as they appeal for information on anyone seen acting suspiciously in the area in recent months.
The discovery was made in fields in Nursling, on the Southampton and Test Valley border, just west of the M271.
Detectives say the drugs were dumped around 100m south of the M27 and 400m east of the River Test.
Close by is the Test Way public footpath which runs beneath the motorway and is thought to be regularly used by walkers.
Detective Inspector Jason Attwell of Operation Fortress said: “This was a significant find of drugs and associated cutting agents. One of the objectives of Operation Fortress is to reduce the supply of drugs and with this find, we have significantly disrupted supply of Class A drugs onto the streets of Hampshire.
“We are keen to hear from any members of the public who may have seen anyone in the area over the past few months. The location where the drugs were recovered is near to the Test Way public footpath, which runs beneath the motorway so it is potentially somewhere with quite high foot traffic.”
Det Insp Attwell urged anyone with information about the drugs or who might be responsible to call 101 or ring the anonymous Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111.