Ma­jor south-west drug bust

Po­lice raids in St Ge­orge nets al­most 30 peo­ple on 180-plus charges

The Western Star - - NEWS - Sarah Diony­sius sarah.diony­sius@west­ern­

DRUG raids in south west Queens­land this week net­ted al­most 30 ar­rests with more than 180 charges.

Seven of the al­leged of­fend­ers face charges of traf­fick­ing dan­ger­ous drugs, after Queens­land Po­lice en­acted on Op­er­a­tion Os­car Kohl on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The op­er­a­tion con­tin­ued yes­ter­day with fur­ther search war­rants ex­e­cuted in St Ge­orge, Su­rat, Dir­ran­bandi, Toowoomba and Roma.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Paul Hart said the op­er­a­tion which tar­geted a “com­plex drug net­work” was 18 months in the mak­ing.

“It had been run­ning for over a year and was pri­mar­ily fo­cused on drug dis­tri­bu­tion in and around St Ge­orge,” he said.

“Seven peo­ple are charged with traf­fick­ing dan­ger­ous drugs in re­la­tion to the drug ice, which is the most se­ri­ous drug charge.”

Among those charged were a 34-year-old St Ge­orge man, who was charged with traf­fick­ing a dan­ger­ous drug and 23 counts of sup­ply of­fences; a 30-year-old Su­rat man, who was also charged with traf­fick­ing; and an 18-year-old St Ge­orge woman, who was charged also with traf­fick­ing.

Det Insp Hart said none of the al­leged of­fend­ers were from Roma but some of the peo­ple charged did es­tab­lish con­nec­tions with the town.

Of­fi­cers also seized a num­ber of ve­hi­cles, ice, cannabis, drug uten­sils and elec­tronic equip­ment.

Det Insp Hart said the sup­port of the com­mu­nity con­trib­uted to the suc­cess of the op­er­a­tion.

“Really the com­mu­nity has driven the op­er­a­tion as they don’t want drugs in their town,” he said.

“They have been happy to pro­vide sup­port and to help us gen­er­ate tar­gets and ul­ti­mately close in on the op­er­a­tion.”

Det Insp Hart said this op­er­a­tion didn’t mean St Ge­orge had a drug prob­lem worse than any other re­mote town. “The peo­ple in the town are not pre­pared to tol­er­ate it and are work­ing to stamp it out,” he said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing and will be on­go­ing with a num­ber of fur­ther ar­rests ex­pected to follow in the com­ing weeks.

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