20 arrested in drug sting

A man is arrested during the alleged drug-trafficking raids on Tuesday, 23 November.

Twenty people have been arrested as police “dismantled” a major drug-trafficking syndicate in the South East.

The year-long police sting led by Caulfield Divisional Response Unit targeted the syndicate allegedly trafficking methylamphetamine, cocaine and 1.4-butanediol.

Police seized trafficable amounts of the drugs, including $10 million of methamphetamine.

They also seized prescription medication, about 7900 steroid tablets and 35 steroid vials, a home-made machine gun, imitation firearms, loaded magazines and almost $650,000 cash.

Three vehicles, keys to a stolen HSV and several electronic devices including a frequency jammer were also found.

On Tuesday morning (23 November), police arrested 13 people in raids in Keysborough, Cranbourne, Skye, Frankston, Langwarrin, Clarinda, East Brighton, Port Melbourne and Brighton.

Seven further people have been arrested over alleged drug-trafficking since July.

Southern Metropolitan Region Commander Therese Fitzgerald said by seizing the drugs, police had prevented “untold damage” and the funding of further criminal enterprises.

“Operations such as these not only destroy the financial foundations that criminals are built upon, but they are equally as damaging in fracturing relationships and social connections between drug distributors in the community.

“We now have a significant number of people with incredibly serious drug charges hanging over their heads.

“These people may have set out with images of easy money in their eyes, but they are now staring at the harsh reality of many years confined to a prison cell.”

Comm Fitzgerald warned those trying to “make a quick dollar dealing drugs” to “think again”.

“We have dedicated teams of detectives across the entire state keeping a close eye on you– whether you’re the head of a syndicate or a lowly drug runner, you will be caught.”

Among the arrests was a 32-year-old Keysborough man charged with trafficking 1,4-butanediol, and possessing ammunition, steroids and the proceeds of crime.

He was arrested on 23 November, and remanded to appear at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on 7 December.

A 35-year-old Cranbourne man was charged on 27 August with trafficking methylamphetamine and cocaine, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

He was remanded to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 25 January.

Meanwhile, a 26-year-old Clarinda man allegedly connected to the syndicate was charged over possessing a homemade machine gun on 23 November.

He was accused of being subject to a Firearm Prohibition Order at the time.

Police allege they found more than 15 kilograms of ‘ice’ – with a street value of up to $10 million – in a tow-truck intercepted at the NSW border near Wodonga on 20 July.

A 28-year-old Balnarring man and a 36-year-old Frankston man were charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of meth.

Police units involved in the operation were Caulfield DRU, Prahran, Dandenong and Mornington DRUs, Southern Metro Crime Team, Dandenong Frontline Tactical Unit, Bayside Family Violence Investigation Unit and Sexual Offences and Child Investigation Team, Moorabbin Criminal Investigation Team, Criminal Proceeds Squad, Armed Crime Squad, Critical Incident Response Team, Special Operations Group, and Australian Federal Police.