Seven people have been arrested following a six-month investigation into the supply of MDMA and cocaine on the NSW Far North Coast and south-east Queensland.
In May this year, detectives from the Tweed/Byron Police District Proactive Crime Team established Strike Force Caved to investigate the distribution of illicit drugs – mainly MDMA and cocaine – in areas on the NSW Far North Coast and south-east Queensland.
Following extensive inquiries, strike force investigators executed five search warrants at Casuarina and Terranora in NSW, and four search warrants at Robina, Burleigh Waters and Miami in QLD, from 7.30am AEDST yesterday (Saturday 21 November 2020).
Officers were assisted throughout the operation by Richmond Police District, the Dog Unit, Northern Rivers Region Enforcement Squad (RES), and Queensland Police (QPOL).
During the searches, Strike Force Caved investigators seized cocaine, MDMA, steroids, more than $60,000 cash, mobile phones and drug paraphernalia.
In total, seven people – six men and one woman – were arrested during the operation.
A 21-year-old man was arrested by virtue of a NSW arrest warrant at Burleigh Waters. He was taken to Southport Watchhouse where he was refused bail. Strike force detectives will travel to Queensland tomorrow (Monday 23 November 2020) to seek his extradition to NSW.
A 31-year-old man was also arrested at Miami, Queensland. He was taken to Southport Watchhouse where he was refused bail. Detectives will also apply for his extradition to NSW.
A 22-year-old man was arrested at a Casuarina home. He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with 20 offences including supply prohibited drug, supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis and participate in a criminal group contribute criminal activity. He was refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court today (Sunday 22 November 2020).
A 20-year-old woman was arrested at a Casuarina home. She was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity and take part supply prohibited drug.
A 21-year-old man was arrested during the day near Casuarina. He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with supply prohibited drug, deal with the proceeds of crime and participate in a criminal group contribute criminal activity.
The pair were granted strict conditional bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court tomorrow (Monday 23 November 2020).
A 37-year-old man was arrested at a separate Casuarina home. He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug and two counts of possess prohibited drug.
A 20-year-old man was arrested at a Terranora home. He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with supply prohibited drug and possess prohibited drug.
Both men were granted strict conditional bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday 14 December 2020.
Tweed/Byron Police District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen, said these arrests come at a crucial time when thousands of school leavers arrive in the area for end of school celebrations.
“Byron Bay is one of the busiest places on the east coast of Australia right now, with thousands of schoolies expected to fill coastal towns during the coming weeks,” Det Ch Insp Cullen said.
“These drugs were bound for our streets, and these arrests will have significantly disrupted the supply chain into the schoolies areas.
“Police will allege in court this syndicate was operating across the border, and we are extremely pleased to be able to put these people before the courts,” Det Ch Insp Cullen said.
Investigations under Strike Force Caved are ongoing, with further arrests expected.
Anyone with information about drug crime is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.