Yarra Police make significant drug trafficking arrests

Yarra Police continue to make arrests in Richmond and surrounding areas as part of ongoing investigations into drug trafficking in the area.

Under Operation Confining, which commenced in February, the Yarra Crime Investigation Unit have arrested nine males in the Richmond area to date in relation to drug trafficking offences.

This comes as part of almost 200 drug trafficking related arrests in the area since the commencement of new enforcement units and activities that started in July last year, including:

• The Yarra Tasking Team who have arrested over 115 offenders for drug trafficking since July

• Daily foot patrols by frontline police, along with regular operations conducted by the Public Order Response Team, Transit police and PSOs who have together arrested over 60 offenders for drug trafficking since July

• The Yarra Bike Patrol who have arrested 21 offenders for drug trafficking since July

In addition to Operation Confining, police from Transit Safety Division were recently conducting their regular patrols along Victoria Street on Sunday morning (17 May). At about 11am, they observed a suspicious vehicle, believed to be stolen, parked near William Street. Officers spoke with the driver and conducted a thorough search of the vehicle, where they located a traffickable quantity of drugs.

The driver, a 42-year-old Richmond man was arrested and charged with trafficking heroin, trafficking methylamphetamine, possessing GHD and bail related offences. After conducting a warrant at his residence, a second man aged 35-years-old was arrested and charged with drug and bail offences.

Proving their proactive work makes a difference, on Friday 8 May the Yarra Bike Patrol was patrolling Victoria Street in Richmond. They observed a group of people acting suspiciously near Little Nicholson Street, and spoke to a female in the group. While speaking to her, a snap lock bag fell out of her jacket. A further search by police revealed 13 plastic bags and two large circular discs, containing what is believed to be a commercial quantity of heroin which was seized by police, along with cash and two mobile phones.

As a result, a 32-year-old female from Abbotsford was subsequently charged for trafficking a commercial quantity of drugs and possessing the proceeds of crime. She was remanded in custody to appear at court at a later date.

Yarra Local Area Commander, Inspector Anne Rudd said Victoria Police would continue to target drug trafficking and the harm it inflicts in the community.

“This shows the proactive, ongoing response from police targeting street level drug dealing and possession, as well as drug trafficking in the area. We will continue to strongly focus on those criminals who prey on the vulnerable,” Insp Rudd said.

“Operation Confining are supported by the Yarra Tasking Team who continue to provide a covert response in the area to detect illicit drug trafficking.

“Since commencing in July 2019, the Yarra Tasking Team and the newly established Yarra Bike Patrol have had a significant impact proactively identifying drug related offences in the community and locking up almost 200 drug traffickers.

“We know the arrests from Operation Confining will have a flow on effect on the level of drug trafficking in Richmond and Yarra, however as police our work continues.

“Frontline police, along with Transit police, Yarra Bike Patrol, Highway Patrol and the Operations Response Unit continue to proactively patrol the area and target criminal behaviour to reduce the supply of drugs, and to ensure the community remains safe.”

Police continue to investigate the alleged nine drug traffickers arrested as part of Operation Confining and their associates.

They include:

• A 60-year-old male from Abbotsford was arrested on 6 April and charged with trafficking heroin. He is due to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on 8 July.

• A 39-year-old male from Hoppers Crossing was arrested on 1 April and charged with trafficking heroin. He is due appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 8 July.

• A 43-year-old male from Springvale South was arrested on 27 March. He was charged with trafficking heroin and will appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 8 July.

• A 42-year-old male from Richmond was arrested on 24 March and charged with trafficking heroin. He is due to appear at the Neighbourhood Justice Court on 8 July.

• A 45-year-old Richmond male was arrested on 18 March and charged with trafficking heroin. He is due to appear at the Neighbourhood Justice Court on 8 July.

• A 36-year-old Pascoe Vale South man was arrested on 18 March and charged with trafficking heroin and possessing the proceeds of crime. He will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on 15 June.

• A 39-year-old male of no fixed place of address was arrested on 18 March and charged with trafficking heroin. He appeared at court on 19 March.

• A 39-year-old man from Lalor was arrested on 18 March. He was charged with the possession of heroin, possession of methylamphetamine, committing an indictable offence on bail and possessing the proceeds of crime. He has appeared at the Neighbourhood Justice Court.

• A 40-year-old Lalor man arrested in Richmond on 6 February. He was charged with trafficking heroin and possessing the proceeds of crime. He appeared at court on 4 May.

Anyone with information about crime or drug trafficking in Yarra is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report online at https://www.crimestoppers.com.au.

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