Ten arrested as criminal network dismantled – Snowy Mountains

Southern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) have arrested 10 people and laid more than 60 drug supply charges as part of investigations into an alleged drug supply operation in the state’s Snowy Mountains.

In February 2020, Strike Force Heeterra was established by the Southern RES to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the Snowy Mountains and Queanbeyan regions.

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

The police operation began shortly after 8am yesterday (Thursday 27 August 2020), with five search warrants executed at homes at Cooma.

During the searches, officers located and seized drugs, a firearm and electronic devices.

Four men – aged 29, 34, 35 and 46 – and two women – aged 25 and 35 – were arrested and taken to Cooma Police Station.

A fifth man, aged 28, was arrested at Cooma Police Station a short time later.

They have been charged as follows:

  • The 25-year-old woman was charged with 13 counts of supply prohibited drug, four counts of take part in supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.
  • The 35-year-old woman was charged with four counts of supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.
  • The 34-year-old man was charged with nine counts of supply prohibited drug, take part in supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.
  • The 35-year-old man was charged with outstanding warrants related to traffic and property offences.

They were refused bail to appear in Queanbeyan Local Court today (Friday 28 August 2020).

  • The 28-year-old man was charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.
  • The 29-year-old man was charged with six counts of supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.
  • The 46-year-old man was charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.

They were granted strict conditional bail to appear in Cooma Local Court on Wednesday 9 September 2020.

A short time later, a further two search warrants were executed at homes at Queanbeyan.

Investigators allegedly located and seized several items including cocaine, cash and weapons. These items will undergo forensic examination.

A 31-year-old man and two women – aged 25 and 37 – were arrested and taken to Queanbeyan Police Station.

They have been charged as follows:

  • The 31-year-old man was charged with 15 counts of supply prohibited drug, five counts of take part in supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.
  • The 37-year-old woman was charged with eight counts of supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group.

They were refused bail to appear in Queanbeyan Local Court today (Friday 28 August 2020).

The 25-year-old woman was charged with supply prohibited drug and participate in criminal group. She is expected to face court at a later date.

Southern Region Operations Manager, Detective Superintendent Kevin McNeil, said the arrests will have a major impact on drug supply throughout the Snowy Mountains and Queanbeyan regions.

“These arrests are the culmination of excellent work by the Region Enforcement Squads and our local police during extremely trying times,” Det Supt McNeil said.

“At the start of the snow season we made it clear that things will be very different in and around our snowfields. Under Operation Snow Safe, we have officers deployed to Jindabyne and surrounding areas to ensure the safety of the wider community. Taking drug suppliers off our streets is another way we are continuing to tackle crime in our regional towns and communities.

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

Investigations are continuing.

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