TWO Surrey police undercover officers have been praised for their bravery in helping to trap a drugs gang.

They were told by Judge Compston at Reading Crown Court that they had acted with "great courage" during the investigation.

The unnamed officers infiltrated the gang of heroin and crack cocaine pushers during a six months' undercover investigation.

Five people were imprisoned last Friday as a result of Operation Unify which covered Surrey Heath, North East Hampshire and London.

Norman Kidd, 45, of Perring Avenue, Farnborough, was convicted of three offences of supplying heroin.

Paul Hemsworth, 32, of Holly Road, Aldershot, was found guilty of three counts of supplying heroin, and two offences of offering to supply the drug.

Steven Williams, 31, of Brookhouse Road, Farnborough, was convicted of six offences of supplying crack cocaine. All three were sent to prison for two years.

Abdiaziz Elmi, 33, of Southway, Camberley, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for eight offences of supplying crack cocaine and heroin.

And Paul Evans, 34, of London, was jailed for four and a half years for six counts of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine.

Four other defendants, all from the Camberley area, were convicted of similar offences and bailed until December 6 for sentencing.

The gang was arrested in an early morning swoop by more than 200 Surrey police officers, including firearms experts and dog handlers.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Deanus, who led Operation Unify, warned: "We will continue to target those who deal in drugs. They peddle misery in local communities."

Superintendent Mick Day, of North West Surrey Police, said that disrupting the supply of heroin and crack cocaine was a priority aim.

The conviction and imprisonment of the gang for a considerable length of time, he continued, sent a "very clear message to those who push drugs".

He added: "This was teamwork at its best, and we achieved a good result."