Police arrest five after cross-border drug and weapons investigation – Strike Force Ranson

Police from three states have arrested five men following an extensive cross-border joint investigation into the supply of drugs and firearms.

In January 2020, detectives attached to Richmond Police District Drug Unit and the State Crime Command’s Criminal Groups Squad established Strike Force Ranson to investigate the importation, manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs and the supply of prohibited weapons in Northern NSW and south-east Queensland.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force investigators executed two search warrants at properties in Lismore and Ballina about 9.45am today (Tuesday 23 June 2020).

During the searches, police allegedly located and seized methylamphetamine and MDMA, firearms parts and cash.

A 28-year-old man was arrested at Ballina with assistance from the Tactical Operations Unit. He was taken to Lismore Police Station and charged with several offences, including:

  • Supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drug (three counts)
  • Supply commercial quantity of prohibited drug (two counts)
  • Manufacture large commercial quantity of prohibited drug (two counts)
  • Supply prohibited firearm
  • Supply prohibited firearm part
  • Supply ammunition, and
  • Knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime.

Police will allege in court that the man was involved in the manufacture and supply of large commercial quantities of MDMA and amphetamines and the supply of firearms over a six-month period.

He was refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court tomorrow (Wednesday 24 June 2020).

As part of joint inquiries, Queensland Police Service State Crime Command’s Drug and Serious Crime Group executed three search warrants at homes in Highland Park, Mudgeeraba and Ashmore today, where they arrested two men – aged 27 (Highland Park) and 36 (Mudgeeraba). Detectives also located and seized firearms and a pill press used in the manufacture of MDMA pills.

Additionally, Victoria Police also executed two search warrants at homes in Abbotsford and Balaclava. A 27-year-old man was arrested at the Abbotsford property and a second 27-year-old man at a property in Surrey Hills. During these searches, police located and seized an amount of Australian cash.

Strike force detectives will apply for the extradition of three men, two from Queensland and one from Victoria, to NSW in both the Southport Magistrates Court and Melbourne Magistrates Court tomorrow (Wednesday 24 June 2020).

Investigations under Strike Force Ranson are ongoing.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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