Eight people have been arrested as part of two investigations into alleged large-scale drug supply operations and criminal networks operating in the Illawarra.
Strike Force Yuppara was established by detectives from Wollongong Police District to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the Illawarra region.
Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested four men and a woman over their alleged involvement in the supply of cocaine and MDMA.
The police operation began about 6.30am today (Friday 16 August 2019), with seven search warrants executed with the assistance of the Public Order and Riot Squad across Coniston, Wollongong, Woonona, Unanderra, Dapto and Oak Flats.
Strike Force Yuppara investigators arrested two 20-year-old men and a 19-year-old woman at a Coniston residence.
A further two men were arrested at homes at Woonona. All five were taken to Wollongong Police Station, where they are currently assisting police with inquiries.
During the searches, police seized several items including cocaine, ice, MDMA, and cannabis, all of which has an estimated potential stret value of $250,000; a firearm, prohibited weapons, and large amounts of cash.
Wollongong Police District Commander, Superintendent Chris Craner, said a major criminal drug network has been dismantled as a result of great police work.
“We have disrupted a major syndicate in the Illawarra drug trade and disrupted suppliers that don’t care about their users or the families that are affected by the use of these awful substances,” Supt Craner said.
“Today we have prevented people in the Illawarra from coming into harm’s way, in the form of ice, cocaine and MDMA abuse.
During the course of Strike Force Yuppara, it was determined their inquiries were linked to an investigation into Illawarra criminal networks by the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor South.
As a result of their inquiries, Strike Force Raptor South executed three further search warrants at Bellambi, Mangerton, and Mount Kiera this morning.
During the searches, Strike Force Raptor South seized two jet skis, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a ute, $40,000 cash, MDMA, and cocaine.
Two men – aged 26 and 30 – were arrested during the operation and taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station.
Investigations by Wollongong detectives and Strike Force Raptor South are continuing.