High profile: Warren Richards, 60, is believed to be the most senior of the alleged drug barons arrested.
High profile: Warren Richards, 60, is believed to be the most senior of the alleged drug barons arrested.

Drug bust operation took 13 months

IT was codenamed Strike Force Domino and, oh, how they fell.

Police say six drug distribution networks have been brought down.

Headed by the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Targeting Squad with assistance from the NSW Crime Commission, police commenced executing warrants in homes and businesses at 6am.

A total of 29 people were arrested allegedly involved in the large commercial manufacture and supply of illicit drugs including cocaine, amphetamines and LSD.

“It’s one of the largest single operations ever conducted by the State Crime Command,” Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.

He said alleged criminals he hunted in his police days were among those arrested.

“A number of the people who were arrested were people I started working on 30 years ago when I started working in the police force.”

“These people have been around a long time,” he said.

The statewide operation was 13 months in the planning.

It was so extensive it required NSW Police Minister Michael Daley to authorise a one-off

$1.7 million grant to fund it.

Police issued a list of those arrested, ranging from the most senior to the most junior players.

A 34-year-old Kogarah man and a 56-year-old Campsie man were among the biggest fish netted in the raids.

Others arrested were from Cronulla, Dolans Bay, Greenacre, Sylvania, Sans Souci, Bexley, Rockdale, Matraville, Eastlakes, Newtown, Darlinghurst, Bond Junction, Denham Court, Stanmore and Earlwood.

They were also from Concord, Manly, McMasters Beach, Sawtell, Gosford, Brighton Le Sands and Casula.

Two more people were arrested in Western Australia by local police. Those arrested ranged in age from 66 to 24.

They were allegedly involved in the operation of six linked drug syndicates, manufacturing, importing and selling drugs.

“We’re talking about distribution networks that work in your neighbourhoods and in your streets,” Detective Superintendent Mick Plotecki said.

Det Supt Plotecki said some of those arrested reacted in surprising ways when police arrived on Wednesday.

“Some of them . . . reacted probably in ways we hadn’t anticipated considering their reputations,” he said.



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