Investigators uncover large-scale clandestine laboratory at Inverell, NSW

Police have located a large-scale clan lab as part of investigations into the manufacture of prohibited drugs in the state’s New England region, NSW Police say.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearm Squad and New England Police District established Strike Force Clune to investigate the manufacture and supply of methylamphetamine (ice) in the area.

As part of their inquiries, strike force investigators attended a home on Mitchell Crescent, Inverell, last Thursday (5 April 2018), and spoke with a resident.

While at the property, investigators noticed items consistent with the manufacture of prohibited drugs.

A crime scene warrant was applied for and executed at the home about 11.20am last Friday (6 April 2018).

Strike force investigators located a large-scale clandestine laboratory in a shed on the property.

The lab was rendered safe before police commenced the dismantling process, which is continuing.

So far, investigators have seized more than 100 items, including scientific glassware and other items consistent with drug manufacture, precursors, and documents, which will be examined by specialist forensic officers.

Investigations under Strike Force Clune are ongoing.

New England Police District Commander, Superintendent Scott Tanner, said investigators are continuing their inquiries to locate those connected to the lab.

“While the immediate focus for police is rendering the area safe, Strike Force Clune is continuing their investigation to locate those involved in the manufacture process,” Supt Tanner said.

“Local detectives are working closely with the Drug and Firearms Squad and following strong lines of inquiry, which will hopefully see people put before the court as soon as possible.”

Superintendent Tanner added that these types of clandestine laboratories posed an unacceptable risk of harm, not only to those involved, but also to unsuspecting residents living nearby.

“Illicit substances, such as ice, are manufactured in volatile environments, which present serious risks of explosion and contamination,” Supt Tanner said.

“As the Commander, I will not tolerate such a blatant disregard for the safety of our community, not only in the manufacturing process, but also in making this poison available to our kids.

“We will continue to dedicate resources to reducing the availability of all illicit substances across our region, and I’m calling on the community to be our eyes and ears – if you notice something suspicious, please get in touch,” Supt Tanner said.

Seven tell-tale indicators of drug manufacturing and supply:

1. Strange odours emanating from the property

2. Diverted electricity

3. Chemical containers and waste

4. Blacked out windows

5. Hoses and pipes in strange places

6. Blinds down, with extremely bright indoor lighting radiating through gaps

7. Vehicles arriving at odd hours

Police are urging anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Clune detectives with their inquiries to call Crime Stoppers.

/Public Release.