Massive three-day drugs, weapons bust bags 309 charges
A POLICE operation has taken down an alleged southwest drug network which resulted in 45 people charged with 309 drug, property and weapon related offences.
Detectives from the St George and Goondiwindi Criminal Investigation Branch with assistance from State Drug Squad, State Flying Squad, Major and Organised Crime Squad began the three-day operation on Monday, carrying out 34 search warrants across St George, Dirranbandi and Goondiwindi.
As part of Operation Romeo Minster and Romeo Recline, officers located 130g of methylamphetamine, stolen property, and illegal firearms.
Of those charged, 21 people will face court for drug trafficking, and six people on ten counts of supply of illegal firearms.
Detective Inspector Mat Kelly said it had taken six months to get to this point.
"We have charged males and females aged between 20-50, all residing in St George, Dirranbandi and Goondiwindi," he said.
"We had 39 staff from across the work units complete this three day operation.
"These types of operations are a cooperative effort, aimed at reducing harm posed by illicit drugs within rural areas, and is a great win for police and the community."
A 36-year-old female was charged with 45 charges, including one count of trafficking, 40 counts of supply, one possess dangerous drug (methylamphetamine), one possess property obtained from trafficking ($3000), and two possess utensils.
A 33-year-old male also had a number of charges laid against him, including one count of trafficking, 20 counts of supply, 3 counts of supply dangerous drugs to juveniles, and four counts of supplying weapons.
"It is alarming that persons were charged in this operation with trafficking firearms within rural communities across the South West and Darling Downs districts," Det Insp Kelly said.
"The theft of firearms from rural communities continues to cause concern for police with some of these firearms ending up in the hands of organised crime."
Acting Detective Superintendent Troy Pukallus said the Queensland community continues to consume illicit drugs at concerning levels, particularly in regional areas.
"This drug use has changed the very fabric of rural communities, resulting in more crime and devastating families," he said.
"These results reinforce the necessity to employ a joint approach between regional and specialist practitioners that target supply, demand, and harm reduction."