Police have charged eight men with drug and gun offences following an intelligence-led operation to tackle a notorious gang in Waltham Forest.

Dawn raids were carried out by over 300 officers at 26 addresses across the borough on Tuesday as part of Operation Emu, aimed at dismantling the south Leytonstone- based gang, the Loyal Soldiers.

The 60 strong-member gang is suspected of widespread drug-dealing across the borough, police say.

A total of 22 suspected gang members were arrested on suspicion of various offences, including conspiracy to supply class A drugs, weapon possession and money laundering.

Viktoras Naumovas, 38, of Capworth Street in Leyton, is accused of supplying 179mg of crack cocaine and 93mg of heroin on January 27.

He is charged with a third offence of being involved in the supply of both class a drugs between January and April of this year.

Kauri Carriere, 30, of Neville Close in Leytonstone, is charged with possessing live ammunition and a smooth-bore revolver.

He is also accused of dealing class a crack cocaine and heroin between January and April, and faces two separate charges of supplying 269mg of crack cocaine and 63mg of heroin in January of this year.

Tyrone Jacobs, 25, of Ramsey Road in Forest Gate, is charged with supply crack cocaine to an undercover officer in Waltham Forest on February 19.

Aaron Simon, 24, of Cathall Road in Leytonstone is charged with being involved in the supply of cannabis.

Curtis Barclay, 21, of Southwell Grove Road in Leytonstone, is accused of supplying cannabis on two occasions in March and April and faces three charges relating to the sale of cannabis.

Jovaunghi Richards, 21, of no fixed address, is charged with two counts of supplying cannabis.

Hayden Brown, 23, and his brother Jordon, 21, of Manor Farm Road in Chingford, have both been charged with being involved in the supply of a class A drug, namely cocaine.

Hayden Brown is also accused of being involved in the supply of class B cannabis and his younger brother faces a second charge of possessing cannabis.

All of the accused appeared at Thames Magistrates Court yesterday and all except Simon have been remanded to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on May 14. 

Simon has been granted conditional bail to return to Thames Magistrates Court tomorrow. 

A 14 year-old boy was amongst those arrested on suspicion of supplying cannabis.