13 January 2020

Two arrested over methlab near Braidwood

| Dominic Giannini
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Meth lab arrest

Two men will face court today (Monday, 13 January) after being charged with the manufacture of prohibited drugs (large commercial quantity). Photos: NSW Police.

Two men have been arrested near Braidwood after police found 45 litres of methylamphetamine oil and a large-scale clandestine laboratory in several sheds.

The crime search warrant was executed just after 8:30 am on Saturday (11 January) at a property at Harolds Cross about 30 km southwest of Braidwood, where they arrested a 37-year-old man from Seaford Rise, South Australia, and a 38-year-old man from Bill Hill, NSW.

Investigators located more than 500 items consistent with drug manufacture, including eight stainless steel condensers, a 1000-litre stainless steel reaction vessel, glassware, precursors, gas burners, and several gas bottles.

Detectives also found a rifle, a shotgun, $4500 cash, mobile phones, electronic equipment, and documents in a third shed consisting of living quarters and chemical and equipment storage

The two men have been charged with the manufacture of a prohibited drug (large commercial quantity) and are due to re-appear at Queanbeyan Local Court later today (13 January). Bail has been refused.

Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Watson, said clandestine laboratories of this size posed an unacceptable risk to the community.

“The location of this property is not far from bushfires still impacting the southern region and we know illicit substances, such as ice, are manufactured in volatile environments, which presents serious risks of explosions and contamination,” Detective Superintendent Watson said.

“Investigators have uncovered an elaborate set-up with industrial size equipment. A ventilation system was found within one of the sheds, as well as a number of irrigations hoses hanging from the ceiling, which are consistent with the use of condensers fitted to reaction vessels and used in the manufacture of methylamphetamine.

“The activities we have observed at this site show a blatant disregard for human life and the potential to cause catastrophic damage.”

Investigations and the dismantling process are continuing while the items will be examined by officers from the Chemical Operations Unit over the coming days.

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