NSW Police have seized $1.5 million worth of prohibited drugs following a number of search warrants across the state’s Central Coast and Sydney, yesterday afternoon.
Strike Force Bamberry, comprising officers from Brisbane Water Local Area Command, was established in December 2015 to investigate the manufacture and distribution of prohibited drugs on the Central Coast.
After ongoing investigations, Strike Force detectives arrested a 26-year-old St Clair man about 11am yesterday (Wednesday 25 May 2016), following a vehicle stop at Kariong.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police located amounts of MDMA, MDA and cocaine – prohibited drugs which was seized for further forensic examination.
He was later charged with seven offences including supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, supply indictable quantity of prohibited drug and knowingly participate in a criminal group.
Two 20-year-old men were also arrested a short time later. One of the men, from Umina Beach, was charged with eight offences including supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and participating in a criminal group.
The second 20-year-old man, also from Umina Beach, was charged with a total of 19 offences – including supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, supply indictable quantity of a prohibited drugs and knowingly participate in a criminal group.
The trio were all refused bail to appear before Gosford Local Court today (Thursday 26 May 2016).
Following the arrests, police executed 11 search warrants across the state’s Central Coast – including properties at Umina, Woy Woy, Horsfield Bay and Ettalong – as well as a number of Sydney properties at St Ives, Stanhope Gardens, Hornsby and St Clair.
They also conducted a search at a home in Pickett’s Valley, on the state’s Central Coast – in accordance with a Firearms Prohibition Order.
The operation involved Brisbane Water Police and other Northern Region General Duties officers, with assistance from the Tactical Operations Unit, Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Dog Unit, PolAir and Gordon and Penrith Region Enforcement Squad.
While executing the warrants, police located and seized amounts of MDMA, MDA, GHB, cocaine, cannabis, methylamphetamine (‘ice’) and steroids – with a combined estimated potential street value of more than $1.5 million.
A number of further items were seized from the properties, including two vehicles and an extendable baton, which will undergo forensic examination – as well as $125,000 in cash, believed to be the proceeds of crime.
Strike Force detectives also identified a storage unit on Bourke Road, Waterloo, during the operation where they executed another search warrant.
Police uncovered more than 1.5 tons of precursor chemicals at the location, believed to be used in the large-scale manufacture of prohibited drugs. Specialist officers are continuing their examination of the unit today.
Officers will also allege they located items – during the Stanhope Gardens search warrant – that are linked to the Mongols OMCG.
A fourth man, and a woman, were arrested during the operation, including a 21-year-old Umina man who was charged with a total of 18 offences including supply commercial quantity of prohibited drug, supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, supply indictable quantity of prohibited drugs, and knowingly participate in a criminal group.
He was refused bail and is due to face Hornsby Local Court today (Thursday 26 May 2016).
The 34-year-old woman, of Woy Woy, was charged with five offences of supplying an indictable quantity of prohibited drug. She was granted conditional bail to appear before Gosford Local Court on Tuesday 21 June 2016.
Brisbane Water Local Area Commander, Superintendent Danny Sullivan, said yesterday’s operation was the culmination of several months of investigations.
“Strike Force Bamberry detectives have been working incredibly hard for six months, all of which has culminated in yesterday’s search warrants and numerous arrests,” Supt Sullivan said.
“It’s clear that those arrested during the operation were members of an elaborate syndicate that had been operating across the Central Coast peninsula for some time.
“I can assure the community that we will continue to hunt down those who seek to manufacture and distribute these substances within our neighbourhoods,” Supt Sullivan said.
“These drugs can destroy lives – they’re not only illegal – but they can also be very harmful to your health, if not fatal.
“I’d also like to remind members of the public they should never underestimate the immensely positive impact one anonymous call to Crime Stoppers can make,” Supt Sullivan said.
“If you see something you’re concerned about, I urge you to come forward, only then can police take action to make it stop.”
Strike Force detectives are continuing their investigations.