Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, was briefing the Rotherham Tasking Team on a Dinnington resident suspected of supplying drugs.
He then accompanied the officers to an address where they found the occupant in the process of flushing the contents of a clear package down the toilet.
Quick thinking by the officers led them to removing the manhole cover in the garden to the sewerage system.
On closer inspection, this revealed that the package was stuck inside the pipe.
Officers then lowered Detective Sergeant Jamie Henderson down head first into the sewer where he successfully retrieved the package by hand.
The package was later confirmed to contain 1oz of heroin, with a street value of around £1,000.
Commissioner Wright said: “This will be one operation I will not forget in a hurry.”
“My purpose of visiting the tasking team today was to spend time with the officers and observe them at work.”
“ I certainly did not expect to see an officer being lowered head first into a sewer to retrieve a Class-A substance.”
“This really does demonstrate the lengths our officers will go to in serving the public.”
“Well done to all the officers involved in the operation- It was a good result and all the more interesting with the remarkable way that Detective Henderson retrieved the package,” he added.
A 37 year-old-man was arrested on possession with an intent to supply and later released on police bail.
Detective Sergeant Jamie Henderson said, “In over ten years with South Yorkshire Police, this is the first time I have found myself being lowered into a sewer head first.”
“This was a successful conclusion of an operation to recover drugs and arresting a man on suspicion of supplying drugs to others.”