Police close major ice operation in Mount Isa

Detectives have today charged 16 people with 32 drug offences after the closure of a year-long operation targeting the supply of ice in the Mount Isa area, Queensland Police say.

Operation Papa Journey commenced in July 2017 following an increase in methylamphetamine use in Mount Isa. Police acted on information supplied from the community throughout the operation and executed over 160 search warrants in Mount Isa and Gulf communities. Throughout the operation, detectives charged a total of 163 people on 385 charges.

As part of the operation, it will be alleged on December 3, 2017 police intercepted a Holden Ute about 20 kilometres east of Mount Isa. A search of the vehicle allegedly located 283 grams of ice in a hidden compartment. A 46-year-old Pioneer man and a 40-year-old Healy man have both been charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine) and possession of a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine). The Healy man is expected to reappear in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on August 27. The Pioneer man is expected to reappear on December 17.

Police executed 10 search warrants between June 12 and 15 at Karumba, Normanton and Burketown and charged 11 people with 23 offences.

A 50-year-old Karumba man has been charged with one count each of possession of a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine) and possession of utensil and obstruct police. A 25-year-old Karumba man has been charged with two counts of possession of a dangerous drug (cannabis and methylamphetamine) and possession of utensil. Both are expected to appear at the Normanton Magistrates Court on July 2.

29 search warrants have been executed over the last three days in Hughenden, Cloncurry and Mount Isa with 22 people charged with 44 drug offences.

This includes a 67-year-old Cloncurry man charged yesterday with one count of supply dangerous drug (cannabis) and will appear at the Cloncurry Magistrates Court on August 16.

A 45-year-old Mount Isa woman has been charged with two counts of possession of dangerous drug (morphine and cannabis), possession of utensil and fail to dispose of syringe. She is expected to appear at the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on July 16.

Investigations are continuing after police allegedly located 2 grams of ice and $3,600 in a bedroom of a Hughenden residence on Tuesday. Investigations are also continuing after police located a conductive energy weapon and a clip seal bag containing one gram of methylamphetamine at a Mount Isa residence today.

The search warrants today saw the deployment of 38 officers including detectives from Longreach, Charters Towers and Cloncurry and police dog squad units from Cairns and Townsville in addition to the local officers.

Acting Detective Inspector Dave Barron said the operation targeted the northern end of the “ice highway” which sees drugs driven up through western Queensland.

“Queensland Police have been targeting the movement of drugs throughout western Queensland resulting in a series of arrests from St George to Karumba,” Acting Detective Inspector Barron said.

“This operation has had a significant impact on the drug trade with the seizure of over $700 000 of ice in the Mt Isa area.

“I thank the community for the information which led to these raids and remind people that we can only act when we have information.”

Vision of drug detection dog search in Mount Isa today:

/Public Release.