Police have carried out dawn raids to break up an alleged family drug ring, following a year-long investigation into trafficking of methamphetamine and cannabis in South Australia’s south-east.
- Eight men were arrested and nine properties raided in SA’s south-east
- Police allege the men were part of a family drug syndicate
- It follows a year-long investigation into ice and cannabis trafficking
Nine properties were raided in Mount Gambier, Naracoorte and Penola by 43 officers, led by the Serious and Organised Crime Branch.
Eight men, aged between 19 and 47, have been charged with multiple counts of trafficking controlled drugs.
“Drug and Organised Crime, along with local police and Mount Gambier CIB, conducted nine simultaneous raids at dawn this morning, which resulted in eight people being arrested,” Detective Chief Inspector Tony Crameri said.
“It will be alleged that these eight men were involved in a syndicate which was run along family lines, and associates, involved in allegedly selling methamphetamine and cannabis.
“One man will face up to 34 different charges in relation to alleged offences.
“We’ve been able to break up this syndicate. It also means there’ll be less drugs on the streets.”
The eight men arrested include two from Mount Gambier, five from Naracoorte and one from Penola.
Mount Gambier has been a key focus of efforts to curb regional ice use, and was the first community consulted as part of the Federal Government’s National Ice Taskforce.
Chief Inspector Crameri said the raids were part of SA Police’s Operation ATLAS, which is focused on disrupting the methylamphetamine trade.
“Methylamphetamine has a damaging impact upon our community, particularly in regards to health and law and order,” he said.
“The harms associated with illicit drug use, including ice, are often magnified in rural and isolated communities.”
Two of the men — a 25-year-old from Mount Gambier and a 45-year-old from Naracoorte — have been charged with trafficking commercial quantities of a drug.
The group has been refused police bail and will appear in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court on Friday.