Thirteen charged as criminal network dismantled across Southern NSW

PLEASE NOTE: Images of items seized during yesterday’s warrants will be available via NSWPF social pages later today

Southern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) have charged 13 people with a range of offences as part of investigations into an alleged drug supply operation in Southern NSW.

In July 2020, Strike Force Belvidere was established by the Southern RES to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the Riverina region. Following inquiries, the investigation extended to criminal networks operating out of Narrandera, Albury, Broken Hill and Sydney.

Following extensive investigations, strike force officers arrested two men and two women yesterday (Tuesday 12 January), over their alleged involvement in the supply of prohibited drugs throughout the region.

The police operation began shortly after 7am, with three search warrants executed at homes in Narrandera and Wagga Wagga.

During the searches, officers seized drugs, a Mercedes sedan, weapons and cash.

A 39-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were arrested at a home in Ashmont and taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station.

The 39-year-old man was charged with six counts of take part supply prohibited drug, supply prohibited drug, supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

The 38-year-old woman was charged with supply prohibited drug (commercial quantity), four counts of supply prohibited drug, take part supply prohibited drug, take part supply cannabis, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, and dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception.

They were refused bail to appear in Wagga Wagga Local Court today (Wednesday 13 January 2020).

A man and woman, both aged 27, were arrested at homes in Narrandera and taken to Narrandera Police Station.

They were both charged with take part supply prohibited drug and granted strict conditional bail, to appear in Narrandera Local Court on Friday 29 January 2021.

In addition to yesterday’s arrests, six men and three women have been arrested and charged by Strike Force Belvidere investigators since July 2020. Of note;

  • On Thursday 10 September 2020, a 51-year-old man was arrested during a vehicle stop on The Rock Road at The Rock, south of Wagga Wagga. He was taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station and charged with 19 offences relating to drug supply and domestic violence. He remains before the courts and is next scheduled to appear in Wagga Wagga Local Court on Wednesday 17 February 2021.
  • On Monday 2 November 2020, a 66-year-old man was arrested at a home in Broken Hill and charged with possess precursor for the use in the manufacture of a prohibited drug. He remains before the courts and is next due to appear in Broken Hill Local Court Tuesday 19 January 2021.
  • On Tuesday 10 November 2020, a 31-year-old man was arrested at a home in Forest Hill and charged with possess precursor intend to use in manufacture/production. He remains before the courts and is next due to appear in Broken Hill Local Court on Tuesday 9 February 2021.
  • On Wednesday 23 December 2020 a 46-year-old woman was arrested during a vehicle stop in the Southern Highlands and charged with drug supply offences. She remains before the courts and is next due to appear in Moss Value Local Court on Tuesday 19 January 2021.

Southern Region Operations Manager, Detective Superintendent Kevin McNeil, said the arrests will have a major impact on drug supply throughout the region.

“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.

“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 and further arrests are expected to be made.

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