Operation Alert targets drug trafficking

Over a dozen people have been arrested – including a senior member of the Outlaws motorcycle gang – following a major police operation in Northern Tasmania targeting drug trafficking.

The extensive investigation, codenamed Operation Alert, commenced earlier this year and has targeted the organised trafficking of illicit drugs including crystal methyl amphetamine (ICE) into Tasmania.

Charges include multiple instances of trafficking in ICE, MDMA (ecstasy), amphetamine (speed) and cannabis plus possession of firearms, possession of stolen property, perverting justice and other minor charges.

Last week, members of Northern Drug Investigation Services, supported by Northern Criminal Investigation Branch and general and specialist police including drug detection dogs, simultaneously executed a number of search warrants at addresses in the Launceston area.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, significant seizures have been made by police that includes:

  • 5 ounces of crystal methyl amphetamine (ICE)
  • 5 ounces of amphetamine (speed)
  • Several hundred MDMA tablets (ecstasy)
  • 15 grams of heroin
  • Quantities of cocaine
  • 4 firearms and 3 stun gun devices
  • Ammunition
  • $175,000 cash
  • Over $200,000 worth of stolen property include motor vehicles, motor cycles, trailers, large amount of power tools, jewellery, phones, computers and clothing.

The illicit drugs seized by police during Operation Alert have a potential street value of approximately $350,000.

A 31 year old Devonport man – who is a senior member of the Outlaws outlaw motorcycle gang – was one of the 12 people charged since the start of Operation Alert. The man will appear in the Devonport Magistrates Court charged with trafficking in a controlled substance.

A 38 year old Newstead man was arrested on 13 November and he has been remanded in custody after appearing on charges that include trafficking in a controlled substance and breaching a firearms prohibition notice.

Several other people will be proceeded against by summons and appear in court at a later date.

Detective Inspector Fox said that illicit drugs have a devastating impact on our community and Tasmania Police remains committed to targeting the supply of illicit drugs into Tasmania.

“Criminals involved in the manufacture, importation and distribution of drugs in Tasmania are on notice. We are committed to identifying you through aggressive targeting strategies and bringing you before the courts and opposing your bail when appropriate. We will continue to monitor sea, air, mail and freight ports, and we will continue to detect, disrupt and deter the importation of illicit drugs into Tasmania,” Detective Inspector Fox said.

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