Three charged, criminal network dismantled in Lightning Ridge – Strike Force Buckinbah

Three people have been charged as part of investigations into an alleged drug supply network in the state’s north west last week.

In June 2020, detectives attached to Central North Police District established Strike Force Buckinbah to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the Lightning Ridge area.

Following extensive investigations, strike force officers, assisted by the Central North Police District Proactive Crime Team, Oxley Region Enforcement Squad and the Dog Unit executed search warrants at a business and two homes in Lightning Ridge about 8am on Friday (11 September 2020).

During the searches, officers located and seized more than $17,000 cash, methylamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, cannabis, electronics, a jet ski, a quad bike, two dirt bikes and three cars at a home.

A 30-year-old man was arrested and taken to Lightning Ridge Police Station, where he was charged with knowingly direct activities of a criminal group, three counts of supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal, and two counts of possess prohibited drug.

A 21-year-old man was also arrested at the address and taken to Walgett Police Station, where he was charged with participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity, supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal, and two counts of possess prohibited drug.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested and taken to Walgett Police Station where she was charged with participation criminal group contribute criminal activity and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal.

They were all refused bail and appeared at Dubbo Local Court on Saturday (12 September 2020), where they were formally refused bail to reappear at Walgett Local Court tomorrow (Tuesday 15 September 2020).

Central North Police District Commander, Superintendent Andrew Hurst, said the operation has dismantled a significant drug operation in the Lightning Ridge area.

“The supply and use of prohibited drugs in our regional communities is a serious issue and we are working closely with the local community to tackle this,” Supt Hurst said.

“Investigations have not finished; strike force officers will continue targeting drug suppliers in the Lightning Ridge community and we have not ruled out further arrests.”

If you suspect a person in your community is supplying prohibited drugs, contact your local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Investigators welcome information from the community regarding the description of vehicles used to courier drugs, the identity of people who are suspected of supplying drugs and the names of those people who are suspected of buying drugs.

Inquiries continue and further arrests are expected to be made.

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