The establishment of Strike Force Footman ultimately led to the arrest of a 38-year-old man at a Diamond Beach caravan park earlier this week.
Strike Force Footman was established in May 2017 by detectives from the State Crime Command’s drug and firearms squad, with the assistance of the Australian Border Force after receiving information that chemicals and precursors were being imported from overseas to manufacture MDMA and methylamphetamine.
Earlier in the investigation, detectives seized 100 kilograms of Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), which had an estimated potential street value of more than $300,000.
On Thursday, August 30, 2018, a clandestine laboratory was located at Ashtead Parade, Stanhope Gardens, following an explosion.
The lab was dismantled and forensically processed, with detectives seizing precursors relevant to the investigation, and nine kilograms of ‘ice’ and 1.5 litres of meth oil.
These drugs have a combined estimated potential street value of almost $7 million.
Following further inquiries, a search warrant was executed about on Tuesday morning, November 6 at Diamond Beach where the man was arrested.
Detectives seized several items including pill press dyes, documentation relating to the manufacture of prohibited drugs, electronic devices and steroids.
The man was taken to Forster Police Station where he was charged.
On Thursday morning, November 8, a 32-year-old man was arrested at a unit complex in Terrigal on the Central Coast and taken to Gosford Police Station.
Shortly after the arrest, strike force detectives executed three search warrants at properties in Terrigal and Killcare and a storage facility in West Gosford.
Investigators seized several items including more than 400 kilograms of precursors, pill press parts and equipment used to manufacture illicit drugs.
This amount of precursor could make up to 250 kilograms of ‘ice’, which would have an estimated potential street value of $225 million.
The man was charged with 14 drug offences, participating in a criminal group and driving a motor vehicle with a suspended licence.
He was refused bail to appear at Gosford Local Court today, Friday, November 9.
Drug and Firearms Squad Commander Detective Acting Superintendent Michael Cook said while police seized drugs and precursors potentially worth more than $230 million the investigation didn’t end here.
“NSW Police Force – and our law enforcement partners – are determined and relentless in their pursuit to disrupt the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs in the community,” Supt Cook said.
“This approach is working; in the past financial year, we have seen an increase of 47 per cent in locating and dismantling clandestine laboratories.
“We will continue to work to detect and seize illegal drugs using various methods and by targeting drug supply and possession at all levels.
“Those involved in the manufacture or supply of drugs should know this – you are in our sights and it won’t be long now until you’re sitting in the back of a police car.”
Investigations under Strike Force Footman continue.
Information is treated in strict confidence.
The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.
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