NAMED: Coffs’ alleged drug syndicate members face court
TWO alleged members of a major drug supply syndicate that had been distributing commercial quantities of illicit drugs in the Nambucca Valley have faced court.
Alleged ringleader Edward Williams, 41, appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court today where he was refused bail.
His co-accused, 36-year-old Craig Anthony Walsh, also appeared before the court and has also been remanded in custody as he did not apply for bail.
Strike Force Anketell detectives began investigating the two men in April, following their alleged involvement in a shooting at Kalang.
After months of inquiries and covert investigations, police yesterday stormed a rural property at Thora where they seized 3,300 cannabis plants - worth a massive $6.5 million.
They also seized 50 grams of methylamphetamine, cannabis leaf and 3kg of MDMA, with an estimated street value of $165,000.
At the same time, officers raided a Missabotti property where they allegedly discovered more than 180 vehicles. Police believe at least nine vehicles, two trailers and a motor bikes were stolen.
Police seized more illicit drugs at Missabotti including one litre of a liquid they believe is GBL, also known as 'liquid ecstasy'.
Northern Region Operations Manager, A/Supt Greg Thomas, said police are expecting to make further arrests in relation to the alleged drug syndicate.
"This job commenced through information that's been provided from members of the public particularly in the Coffs area, which highlights what can be achieved with public assistance particularly in relation to drug crime, that being cultivation and drug supply," Supt Thomas said.
"The two men arrested in relation to this Strike Force are but a number believed to be involved in the cultivation and manufacture, and those other members of this criminal group should expect similar attention in the coming days and weeks."
Alleged ringleader Williams is facing 10 firearms and drug-related charges.
These include discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, using an unauthorised firearm, possessing an unauthorised firearm, manufacturing a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, manufacturing an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug that is not cannabis, cultivating a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, three counts of suppling prohibited drugs, and knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group.
He will appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court again on September 21.
Alleged syndicate member Walsh is facing four firearms and drug-related charges.
These include discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, manufacturing a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, cultivating a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, and participating in a criminal group.
Walsh will appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court again on November 10.