Shop, homes raided
Police uncover $ 17,000 worth of drugs
A TOWNSVILLE sports supplements shop and the homes of several of its employees and associates were raided by police in a major operation targeting steroid supply.
Drugs squad detectives, in conjunction with officers from the Australian Border Force, searched the Currajong store and nine homes during early morning raids yesterday and Thursday. The raids resulted in the seizure of $ 17,000 worth of anabolic steroids, ecstasy, cocaine, cannabis and other prescription drugs as part of Operation North Scarab.
Townsville Drug Squad officer- in- charge, Detective Senior Sergeant Mick Walker, said the operation targeted the alleged users, suppliers and traffickers of steroids in the region. “During our inquiries we identified a supplements store which was visited by police on Thursday morning,” he said.
Homes connected with several staff employed at the store were also targeted during the two- day operation. Steroids were allegedly found at homes in Douglas, Burdell, North Shore and Idalia.
Police will also allege that about 0.05g of cocaine, a “rock” of MDMA and other re- stricted drugs were also found at the Douglas house.
It will also be alleged that a quantity of methamphetamines was found in a house in Aitkenvale.
The possession of steroids is illegal in Australia unless a person has a valid medical prescription. But there is a black market for the so- called “performance- enhancing drug” which is a popular musclebuilding drug often used by bodybuilders and young men.
In 2014, the former Newman Government reclassified anabolic steroids as a schedule one dangerous drug, bringing the substance into the same category as cocaine, heroin and amphetamines. Anyone convicted of possessing or supplying steroids can now face a maximum of 25 years in jail.
Sen Sgt Walker said the local operation was launched after intelligence was received from the community that steroids were allegedly being imported from overseas.
Eighteen people were taken into custody as a result of the raids, with four men, aged between 23 and 33, charged with drug offences. Another eight people are also expected to be charged and police are examining electronic devices.
“We had concerns that the people involved in this alleged enterprise were beginning to take a foothold in the city,” Det Sen Sgt Walker said.
“That is why we acted.”