$1.1 mil­lion in drugs seized

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

PO­LICE have de­clared war on the drug cul­ture in the Whit­sun­days raid­ing 100 homes and seiz­ing about $1.1 mil­lion in drugs from the re­gion’s streets.

Their mes­sage to the com­mu­nity is sim­ple.

If you’re think­ing about tak­ing, sell­ing or dis­tribut­ing drugs – don’t.

The raids, con­ducted in both the Whit­sun­days and Mackay over about 48 hours at the end of last week were the cul­mi­na­tion of a year’s po­lice work in­clud­ing tele­phone in­ter­cepts and tar­geted sur­veil­lance.

The re­sult was the re­gion’s largest drug bust in at least 20 years with more than 60 peo­ple ar­rested on 317 charges in just over two days.

Task­force Max­ima’s De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Terry Lawrence said of th­ese peo­ple 29 were charged with traf­fick­ing, 80 were charged with sup­ply­ing danger­ous drugs and 11 with pro­duc­ing danger­ous drugs, namely cannabis plants.

PO­LICE op­er­a­tions Lima Duet (Mackay) and Lima Quiz (Whit­sun­days), cul­mi­nated in a mas­sive 48 hour-blitz in­volv­ing about 160 po­lice of­fi­cers last week.

Prop­er­ties at Beach Road, Can­non­vale, Penin­sula Apart­ments, Shin­g­ley Beach, Manooka Drive and Su­gar­loaf Road were among those searched.

Det Insp Lawrence said the to­tal drug haul in­cluded 14kg of cannabis, over 460g of ice and 18 cannabis plants – the ma­jor­ity of which were found in the Whit­sun­days.

He said there was also a sig- nif­i­cant amount of prop­erty amount­ing to the “pro­ceeds of crime”.

Dis­trict Of­fi­cer Act­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent Mar­cus Hill said the suc­cess of th­ese opera- tions was a good ex­am­ple of the co-op­er­a­tion be­tween re­gional and lo­cal po­lice plus spe­cial­ist units such as Task­force Max­ima from Bris­bane.

“(And it’s) an ex­am­ple of how the po­lice are determined to iden­tify, in­ves­ti­gate and dis­man­tle the drug net­works in the area,” he said.

UNITED AP­PROACH: Mackay Dis­trict In­spec­tor Ian Haughton, De­tec­tive In­spec­tor for Task­force Max­ima Terry Lawrence and Act­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent Mar­cus Hill an­nounc­ing the re­sults of po­lice op­er­a­tions Lima Duet and Lima Quiz out­side the Whit­sun­day Po­lice Sta­tion last Fri­day.

PRO­CEEDS OF CRIME: Po­lice also seized $140,000 in cash and prop­erty such as cars, a mo­tor­bike, jet­ski and ride-on mow­ers.

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