Operation Papa Buzzard nets eight arrests in Toowoomba, QLD

Police have today raided ten properties and arrested eight people on more than 40 offences as part of an operation targeting the trafficking of stolen firearms and drugs in the Toowoomba district, Queensland Police say.

Investigators from the South West District, Darling Downs District, State Crime Command and Operational Support Command executed search warrants in the Toowoomba area as part of the closure of Operation Papa Buzzard, with simultaneous searches carried out in Goondiwindi and St George this morning.

The 18-month operation has focused on the theft of firearms from rural properties and established a nexus between the trafficking of those firearms and drugs, most specifically ICE throughout southern Queensland and interstate.

Police will also allege those involved are linked to major organised crime groups.

Eight people were arrested and charged today with a total of 43 offences, including the trafficking and supply of firearms, possession of explosives, possession of dangerous drugs and utensils and possession of proceeds of crime.

One of the alleged offenders, a 32-year-old Toowoomba man, was intercepted in a vehicle on Greenwattle Street in Toowoomba.

Police will allege the man resisted arrest and needed to be forcefully removed from the vehicle.

A subsequent search of the vehicle located two loaded handed guns, approximately 400 grams of ICE and a significant quantity of cash.

Detective Sergeant Isa Tolete of St George CIB attributed the operation’s success to the volume of information provided by residents of rural communities of South West Queensland.

“We would like to thank the locals for playing an integral role in disabling this network and preventing the further distribution of firearms and dangerous drugs within the community,” Detective Sergeant Tolete said.

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