Six charged as criminal network dismantled – Southern Highlands

Six people have been arrested ,and more than 100 drug supply charges laid, as part of investigations into an alleged drug supply operation in the state’s Southern Highlands.

In December 2019, Strike Force Paulwood was established by officers from The Hume Police District to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the Southern Highlands area.

Following extensive investigations, strike force officers arrested four men and two women over their alleged involvement in the supply of ‘ice’ throughout the region.

Shortly after 9am today (Tuesday 10 March 2020), officers from The Hume Police District, with the assistance of the Public Order Riot Squad, executed two search warrants at a home in New Berrima and an address in Mittagong.

Officers located and seized prohibited drugs, cash, weapons, electronic equipment and drug paraphernalia.

Two men – aged 33 and 34 – and two women – aged 24 and 49 – were arrested and taken to Southern Highlands Police Station.

A short time later, a third search warrant was executed at an address in Mittagong.

Two men – aged 35 and 45 – were arrested and taken to Southern Highlands Police Station.

Investigators located and seized several items including prohibited drugs, electronic equipment and drug paraphernalia.

Police will allege the 49-year-old woman was coordinating illicit drug activity through a criminal syndicate operating across the Southern Highlands.

The 49-year-old woman was charged with 60 counts of supply prohibited drug, seven counts of take part in the supply of prohibited drugs, two counts of supply drugs on an ongoing basis, organise/conduct/assist drug premises and knowingly direct activities of a criminal group.

The 24-year-old woman was charged with five counts of take part in the supply of prohibited drugs, two counts of organise/conduct/assist drug premises, participate in criminal group

The 33-year-old man was charged with 18 counts of supply prohibited drug, 15 counts of take part in the supply of prohibited drugs, two counts of supply prohibited drug on an ongoing basis, participate in criminal group and two counts of organise/conduct/assist drug premises.

Following an incident on Friday 31 January 2020 with police, additional charges of resist / hinder police officer in the execution of their duty, assault police officer in the execution of their duty were also laid. The man was taken to Bowral District Hospital where he remains under police guard.

The 34-year-old man was charged with 17 counts of supply prohibited drug, five counts of take part in the supply of prohibited drugs, supply drugs on an ongoing basis, owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, participate in criminal group and breach AVO.

The 35-year-old man was charged with five counts of supply prohibited drug, participate in criminal group and organise/conduct/assist drug premises.

The 45-year-old man was charged with supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.

All six were refused bail and, with the exception of the 33-year-old man, are due to appear at Moss Vale Local Court today (Wednesday 11 March 2020).

The Hume Police District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Bernie said the arrests are the culmination of excellent work by local detectives and proactive crime teams.

“The supply of drugs in regional towns has a major impact on our community, and it simply won’t be tolerated,” Det Ch Insp Bernie said.

“We will continue to target those engaging in the supply of illegal drugs, and rest assured anyone who engages in these activities will face the full brunt of the law.

“The strike force activity in this area will have a major impact on the distribution of drugs in our region and crime trends across the Southern Highlands.

“I would like to thank those members of the community that came forward and provided us with vital information that assisted with the arrest of six persons for drug offences.”

Police inquiries are continuing and further arrests are expected to be made.

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