Ingham Daily Press

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Detectives shut down drug trafficking ring in Townsville

Detectives from the North’s major and organised crime squad have charged 23 people and seized ice, weapons and cash following the closure of an operation targeting the trafficking of drugs in Townsville.

Operation Sierra Menat launched in May 2020 before culminating in 16 search warrants being executed at residences and commercial properties in Townsville and Ayr in the past week.

Detectives were assisted by local police officers in conducting the protracted operation targeting the distribution of methylamphetamine and other drugs across North Queensland.

During the searches, officers seized 920 grams of methylamphetamine, a quantity of cannabis, a rifle, silencer, two tasers and $73,000 in cash.

Police also dismantled two illicit drug laboratory sites at Kirwan and Giru, which it will be alleged were used in the production of methylamphetamine.

A total of 23 people were charged with 192 offences as part of the operation.

A 54-year-old Garbutt man was charged with one count of trafficking dangerous drugs (methylamphetamine), three counts of possessing dangerous drugs and one count each of possessing anything used in the commission of a crime and possessing property suspected of having been used in the connection of a drug crime.

Three people, a 42-year-old Kirwan man, a 41-year-old Kirwan woman and a 53-year-old Mount Louisa, man were charged last week with drug trafficking and other drug offences.

All four have been remanded in custody and are due to next appear in Townsville Magistrates Court in December.

Officer-in-charge, Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Caswell, said the operation will impact the availability and supply of methylamphetamine in North Queensland.

He said: ‘We will allege those arrested were involved in a syndicate trafficking dangerous drugs and the results of this operation have removed significant quantities of ice from our community as well as impacting its production and supply.’

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