Week of drug enforcement action results in seizure of over $5m in drugs

State Crime Command’s Drug and Serious Crime Group has wrapped up a week of tactical action across the state seizing over $5m worth of cannabis and other drugs they believe may have been bound for end of year school celebrations, Queensland Police say.

 Operation Papa Detect

On Sunday, the group deployed officers as part of Operation Papa Detect which involved the examination of mail consignments at a Gold Coast mail centre.

As a result of the action, 13 packages containing drugs were detected, including cannabis and performance and image enhancing drugs. Investigations are ongoing.

Operation Papa Blatina

On Tuesday officers from the Far Northern Region’s Major and Organised Crime Squad seized 500 grams of methylamphetamine (with an approximate street value of $175,000), 22 kilograms of of cannabis (with an estimated street value of $120,000) and over $31,000 in cash. A sedan, a 4WD and a motorbike were also seized (suspected of being proceeds of crime).

Detectives seized the drugs during a search of a vehicle in Brisbane on October 22 and the execution of search warrants in Smithfield, Mooroobol, Woree and Kuranda. In total, 11 offenders were charged with 38 offences including drug trafficking, drug supply, drug possession and possession of property suspected of being the proceeds of drug trafficking.

 Operation Pine

In Kingaroy this week, police from the Drug and Serious Crime Group’s, Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural) executed 24 search warrants on rural properties in Kingaroy, South Burnett, Gympie, Charleville, Roma and Forest Hill.

During the searches three large hydroponic cannabis plots and several bush cannabis plots were located as well as six unlicensed firearms. It is estimated the bush cannabis detected is worth over $1m and the hydroponic cannabis over $20,000.

As a result, 35 offenders were charged with 94 charges, including produce dangerous drugs, possess dangerous drugs and weapons act offences.

Operation Ruckus

Between November 13 and November 16 detectives also conducted a tactical phase of Operation Ruckus, executing search warrants at nine premises on the Gold Coast.

Operation Ruckus is a protracted operation targeting “grow houses” producing high quality cannabis for distribution throughout Queensland.

During this week’s tactical action, four addresses were identified with active hydroponic systems being used for cannabis production.

Police seized 91 cannabis plants (with an estimated value of $455,000) and 25 kilograms of dried cannabis (with an estimated value of $171,000) and charged 8 offenders with 25 charges.

Cannabis Eradication Program

On Wednesday officers from the Drug and Serious Crime Group’s Firearms and Cannabis Team with assistance from Major and Organised Crime Squad Rural conducted a tactical phase of the group’s ongoing Cannabis Eradication Program within the Gympie District.

Four active cannabis crops sites were located including two located within private properties in the Tallegalla Weir. Police detected over 1600 bush cannabis plants with an estimated value of over $4m.

Two offenders were charged with six offences, including produce dangerous drug and possess dangerous drug.

Operation Oscar Hartsville

In December 2016 the State Drug Squad’s Protracted Operation Unit in conjunction with the Fortitude Valley Criminal Investigation Branch commenced Operation Oscar Hartsville which focused on the unlawful trafficking and supply of dangerous drugs in the Fortitude Valley entertainment precinct.

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the team officially closed the operation with assistance from Brisbane Central District and Ipswich CIB.

During the tactical action, 17 search warrants were executed in South East Queensland. Police located 20 offenders who were charged with 84 offences, including five counts of trafficking, 37 counts of supplying dangerous drugs and 20 counts of possession of a dangerous drug. Drugs worth an estimated value of over $42,000 and property valued at over $12,000 were seized during the operation.

“This was a significant week for State Crime Command’s Drug and Serious Crime Group with the assistance from officers across the state. This action was aimed at disrupting the supply of dangerous drugs and with our tactical action, targeting those responsible for these distribution networks which we believe were focused on end of school year celebrations.

“While methylamphetamine continues to be the drug many are turning to, these closures highlight cannabis is still a very real drug of choice for many. We will continue to maintain an active role monitoring and targeting the supply of drugs during end of year school celebrations,” Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker of the Drug and Serious Crime Group said.

/Public Release.