Surry Hills Region Enforcement Squad (RES) has dismantled an alleged criminal syndicate after charging seven people as part of an investigation into the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs across Sydney.
In December 2018, officers from Surry Hills RES established Strike Force Pickle to investigate and target the manufacture and supply of illicit drugs, primarily methylamphetamine, across the greater Sydney area.
Following extensive inquiries, strike force investigators, with assistance from Redfern and Bass Hill RES, the Dog Unit, Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit, and Central Metropolitan Region’s Odin, as well as police from across Central and South Western Metropolitan Regions, executed 12 search warrants across Sydney yesterday (Wednesday 4 September 2019).
The search warrants were executed at homes at Hurstville, Lansvale and Strathfield, units in Sydney’s CBD, Wiley Park, Kingsgrove, Burwood, Birchgrove, and restaurants at Haymarket.
During the searches, police have seized equipment and chemicals consistent with drug manufacture, electronic equipment, various documentation, mobile phones, more than $50,000 cash, cocaine, ice, MDMA, and prescription medication.
Investigators also uncovered clandestine drug laboratories at the properties in Kingsgrove, Hurstville and Birchgrove.
Crime scenes were established at all three locations which are continuing to be examined and dismantled by the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Chemical Operations Team and specialist forensic officers.
Upon entry to the Wiley Park unit, officers located two men residing in the garage of the property, while a third man – aged 53 – attempted to flee the scene but was arrested following a short foot pursuit.
The two men located in the garage were spoken to by police and released pending further inquiries.
The 53-year-old man was taken to Surry Hills Police Station, where he was charged with manufacture large commercial quantity prohibited drug, two counts of commercial drug supply, two counts of organises/conducts/assists drug premises, two counts of owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, two counts of found on/entering/leaving drug premises, two counts of possess prohibited drug, drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
A 49-year-old woman was arrested at a Haymarket unit and taken to Surry Hills Police Station, where she was charged with manufacture large commercial quantity prohibited drug, two counts of organises/conducts/assists drug premises, two counts of found on/entering/leaving drug premises, and knowingly direct activities of criminal group.
A 60-year-old man and 41-year-old woman were arrested at a home in Hurstville.
The man was charged with manufacture prohibited drug, possess precursor intend to use in manufacture/production, possess drug manufacture apparatus make prohibited drug, two counts of supply prohibited drug, owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, two counts of found on/entering/leaving drug premises, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
The woman was charged with possess drug manufacture apparatus make prohibited drug, supply prohibited drug, owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, two counts of found on/entering/leaving drug premises.
A 39-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were arrested at a unit in Birchgrove and taken to Surry Hills Police Station.
The man was charged with three counts of supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), supply prohibited drug (commercial quantity), supply prohibited drug (indictable quantity) and possess prohibited drug.
The woman was charged with supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), supply prohibited drug (commercial quantity).
All six people were refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today (Thursday 5 September 2019).
A 56-year-old man was arrested at a home in Lansvale and taken to Fairfield Police Station, where he was charged with supply prohibited drug, possess/attempt to prescribed restricted substance, deal with property proceeds of crime, and two counts of possess prohibited drug.
He was refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court today.
Surry Hills Region Enforcement Squad Commander, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Patton, said yesterday’s raids were the culmination of 10 months of police investigations.
“Strike Force Pickle detectives have been investigating the activities of this alleged drug syndicate for almost a year, and yesterday’s arrests are a direct result of their dedication and hard work,” Det Ch Insp Patton said.
“Make no mistake – this is organised crime and those involved simply want to profit, no matter the cost.
“Prohibited drugs are incredibly dangerous, and our officers will continue to target those in the community that continue to participate in illegal drug-related activity.
“Clandestine laboratories have the potential to put surrounding houses and people in danger, and they can be well hidden within our communities. This group used a range of locations across Sydney to try and disguise their activities.
“We want to ensure we disrupt every aspect of their operation, by not only taking away their infrastructure, but getting these criminals and their associates off the streets.
“The community can assist police by being vigilant as to what is happening in their suburbs and reporting any suspicious behaviour to police,” Det Ch Insp Patton said.
Inquiries under Strike Force Pickle are continuing.
Anyone with information about the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.