A major drug operation in the Snowy Mountains and Queanbeyan has been dismantled by police, resulting in more than 60 charges being laid against 10 people allegedly involved in the supply of ice and other prohibited drugs.
Six men and four women were arrested during the police operation that began shortly after 8:00 am yesterday (Thursday 27 August), with five search warrants executed at homes in Cooma.
A short time later, a further two search warrants were executed at homes in Queanbeyan, where investigators allegedly located and seized several items including cocaine, cash and weapons. These items will undergo forensic examination.
Strike force officers from the Southern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) claim the arrests will have a major impact on drug supply throughout the Snowy Mountains and Queanbeyan regions.
“These arrests are the culmination of excellent work by the region enforcement squads and our local police during extremely trying times,” Southern Region operations manager Detective Superintendent Kevin McNeil said.
“At the start of the snow season, we made it clear that things will be very different in and around our snowfields.
“Under Operation Snow Safe, we have officers deployed to Jindabyne and surrounding areas to ensure the safety of the wider community. Taking drug suppliers off our streets is another way we are continuing to tackle crime in our regional towns and communities.
“The supply of drugs in regional towns has a major impact on our community, and it simply won’t be tolerated.”
During the searches, officers allegedly located and seized drugs, a firearm and electronic devices.
Four men – aged 29, 34, 35 and 46 – and two women – aged 25 and 35 – were arrested and taken to Cooma Police Station.
The 25-year-old woman was charged with 17 counts of drug supply and participating in a criminal group, while the 35-year-old woman was charged with four counts of supplying a prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.
The 34-year-old man was charged with 10 counts of drug supply and participating in a criminal group, while the 35-year-old man was charged with outstanding warrants related to traffic and property offences.
The 29-year-old man was charged with six counts of drug supply and participating in a criminal group, while the 46-year-old man was charged with two counts of drug supply and participating in a criminal group.
A fifth man, aged 28, was arrested at Cooma Police Station and charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug and participate in a criminal group.
They were granted strict conditional bail to appear in Cooma Local Court on 9 September.
In Queanbeyan, a 31-year-old man and two women, aged 25 and 37, were arrested and taken to Queanbeyan Police Station.
The 31-year-old man was charged with 20 counts of drug supply and participating in a criminal group.
The 37-year-old woman was charged with eight counts of supplying prohibited drugs and participating in a criminal group.
They were refused bail to appear in Queanbeyan Local Court today (28 August).
The 25-year-old woman was charged with supply prohibited drug and participate in a criminal group. She is expected to face court at a later date.
In February 2020, Strike Force Heeterra was established by the Southern RES to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the Snowy Mountains and Queanbeyan regions.
Investigations are continuing.