MORE than $1.5 million worth of drugs has been seized including 30,000 ecstasy pills and 1.5 tonnes of precursor chemicals following a string of raids across the Central Coast and Sydney yesterday afternoon.
Four men — including one linked to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang — will appear in court this morning while a woman, 34, of Woy Woy was granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on June 21.
The sting, one of the biggest in recent memory on the Coast, recovered so much drugs and other contraband police ran out of evidence bags.
Brisbane Water police established Strike Force Bamberry in December 2015 to investigate the manufacture and distribution of prohibited drugs across the Coast.
After ongoing investigations detectives yesterday conducted a number of searches on the Coast as well as properties in western Sydney and the North Shore where they seized a large quantity of prohibited drugs with an estimated potential street value of more than $1.5 million.
A storage unit on Bourke Rd at Waterloo was also searched with police locating 1.5 tonnes of precursor chemicals police believed was destined to be used in the large-scale manufacture of drugs.
Brisbane Water police were assisted by other northern region general duties officers, along with the Tactical Operations Unit, Operations Support Group, Dog Unit, PolAir and Gordon Region Enforcement Squad.
The series of orchestrated raids began at 11am with a vehicle stop at Kariong where detectives arrested a 26-year-old who police will allege was a senior figure in the wholesale drugs supply on the Woy Woy Peninsula.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police located amounts of MDMA, MDA and cocaine — all of which was seized for further forensic examination.
The man was later charged with seven offences including supplying large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, supplying indictable quantity of prohibited drugs and knowingly participate in a criminal group.
Two 20-year-old men, both of Umina Beach, were arrested a short time later with one charged with eight offences including supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.
The other man was charged with a total of 19 offences including supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and knowingly participate in a criminal group.
The men were all refused bail to appear before Gosford Local Court today.
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.
While executing the warrants, police located and seized amounts of MDMA, MDA, GHB, cocaine, cannabis, methylamphetamine or ‘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.
Strike Force detectives also identified a storage unit on Bourke Road, Waterloo, during the operation where they executed another search warrant.
Officers will also allege they located Mongols OMCG jackets — during the Stanhope Gardens search warrant — that were stashed with some of the $125,000 in cash seized across the raids.
Another man, 21, of Umina Beach, was charged with 18 offences and is due to face Hornsby Local Court today.
A 34-year-old woman, of Woy Woy, was charged with five counts of supplying an indictable quantity of prohibited drug but was granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on June 21.
Brisbane Water Superintendent Daniel Sullivan said the operation targeted alleged offenders who thought they were “untouchable”.
“Once we get information that you’re dealing drugs in our community we will be relentless, we will hunt you down and we will bring you before the court,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
Supt Sullivan also urged people to never underestimate the impact one anonymous call to Crime Stoppers could make.”
“Many people say, yeah, you’ve seized a large quantity of drugs, so what,” he said.
“Let’s think about this, there’s 7kg of MDMA equating to neary 30,000 pills, we all see the damage that these pills do particularly at dance concerts and on the weekends in our emergency hospitals across the state.
“That’s 30,000 kids that don’t have to play that game of Russian roulette with this poisonous substance that we’ve taken off our streets.”
Sources close to the strike force said those arrested allegedly represented the “top of the pyramid” with the blitz striking fear into a lot of “bottom feeder” dealers on the Peninsula.
“There will be a lot of drugs flushed into the sewerage system today,” one senior officer said.
Strike Force detectives are continuing their investigations.
The raids follow two searches at Morisset on Tuesday morning in which police seized 31 mature cannabis plants, 42 cannabis clones, 27 hydroponic lights and transformers, numerous carbon filters and fans, as well as an amount of cannabis leaf.
Police entered the two units at 9.20am on Kalaf Ave where they located three large and sophisticated hydroponic tents.
Each of the tents contained cannabis plants, lights, fans, transformers and ventilation ducting.
Police arrested a 39-year-old leaseholder at the location.
He was taken to Belmont police station where he was charged with possess prohibited drug, cultivate prohibited plant and alter or add to electricity installation for metering.
He was granted conditional bail to appear at Toronto Local Court on June 8.