Drug labs busted

Raid: The storage facility in Toormina.
Raid: The storage facility in Toormina.

A MAJOR investigation is now under way into the manufacture of prohibited drugs on the Coffs Coast.

Specialist police from the State Crime Command’s clandestine laboratories unit arrived in the city yesterday afternoon following a series of raids late on Wednesday.

Coffs Harbour detectives and general duties police swooped on a house in Coffs Harbour’s Brodie Drive and the raid led them to a storage bay at Coffs Harbour Hi-Tech Self Storage in Toormina’s Craft Close at 6pm.

Officers found equipment including glassware, piping and tubes which they believe could be used in making prohibited drugs, namely amphetamines.

Police shut down the storage unit, established a crime scene and set up a police guard ahead of the arrival of drugs squad police from Sydney to further examine the scene.

“Because of the volatility of the chemicals used in the manufacture of prohibited drugs and because of the inherent dangers they pose, we lock everything down to prevent risks to the public and ourselves,” said acting Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Detective Acting Inspector Peter O’Reilly.

“People need to be aware clandestine drug laboratories pose a huge risk to the community because of the materials used.

“The drugs produced by them also have a negative impact on the community.”

At the Brodie Street premises, police found 28 grams of cannabis and electrical gear, which has been seized for forensic analysis.

A man, 35, who was at the home when police arrived was subsequently charged with prohibited drug possession.

He will appear in court at a later date.

The seizures follow last month’s dismantling of a suspected clandestine drug laboratory in Coffs Harbour’s Toormina Place.

Mr O’Reilly urged residents to be on the lookout for illegal drug activity in their neighbourhood – black plastic over windows and chemical smells were sure signs of suspicious activity.

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