Three charged, $54,000 cash seized, and three clandestine laboratories discovered

Police have charged three men, seized more than $54,000 cash and dismantled three clandestine laboratories following an investigation into the manufacture and supply of methylamphetamine across north-west Sydney.

In February 2019, officers from North West Metropolitan Region Enforcement Squad (RES) established Strike Force Badajoz to investigate and target the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs across north-west Sydney.

Following extensive inquiries, police stopped a 42-year-old man travelling with his 6-year-old daughter at Webbs Creek Ferry, just after 6pm on Tuesday (17 September 2019).

Police searched the man’s vehicle and located more than $18,000 cash, as well as equipment and chemicals consistent with drug manufacture.

The man was arrested and taken to Windsor Police Station, while alternate care arrangements were made for the child.

Shortly after the arrest, strike force investigators from Penrith RES and Gordon RES, with assistance from the Operational Support Group (OSG) and the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), executed three crime scene warrants at homes in Leets Vale, Pymble and Marayong.

A 51-year-old man was arrested at the Leets Vale property and taken to Windsor Police Station.

On entry of the Marayong home, a 53-year-old man attempted to flee from police and sustained a cut to his forehead. The man was arrested and taken to Hawkesbury Hospital, before being taken to Riverstone Police Station.

Investigators uncovered clandestine drug laboratories all three of the homes, which are being examined and dismantled by the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Chemical Operations Team and specialist forensic officers.

During the searches, police located 500g of methylamphetamine, equipment and chemicals consistent with drug manufacture, and a number of liquids with presumptive testing returning a positive indicator for methylamphetamine and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

Officers also located more than $36,000 cash at the Marayong home, allegedly hidden in a wall cavity.

The 42-year-old man was charged with manufacture prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity, deal with property proceeds of crime, and manufacture large commercial quantity-expose child.

Police will allege in court the man attended the Leets Vale property with the child prior to his arrest.

The 51-year-old man was charged with manufacture prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity, supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), and deal with property proceeds of crime.

Both men appeared at Penrith Local Court on Wednesday 18 September 2019, where they were formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Friday 15 November 2019.

The 53-year-old man was charged with manufacture prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), and recklessly deal with proceeds of crime, money/property.

He appeared at Blacktown Local Court yesterday (Thursday 19 September 2019), where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Thursday 14 November 2019.

Investigations under Strike Force Badajoz are continuing.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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