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Three men charged over meth in multiple mattresses

12 September 2023, 9:52am
Media Release

Three men charged over meth in multiple mattresses

Editor’s note: Photographs and vision are available via Hightail.

Three men have been charged as part of a six-month joint investigation into a criminal syndicate that allegedly worked to import almost 90kg of methamphetamine hidden in five separate shipments of futons into Sydney.

One of the men, 23, was arrested at his Waterloo home in Sydney’s south on Tuesday, 5 September, and appeared before Downing Centre Local Court on 7 September, 2023 and was remanded into custody. The other two men were arrested in May and June 2023.

Operation Hesperidium began in March 2023 after Australian Border Force (ABF) officers examined a consignment of futons imported into Sydney from the United States.

ABF examination of the futons located 5.5kg of methamphetamine hidden within the consignment. Another shipment of futons was examined two weeks later and found to contain 15kg of methamphetamine.

Ongoing AFP and ABF investigations in Australia assisted Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as it detected and seized a combined total of 68kg of methamphetamine concealed in another three shipments of futons – destined for various Sydney addresses – before they were exported from the United States.

The AFP executed a search warrant in the Sydney suburb of Burwood on 2 May, 2023, arresting and charging a 33-year-old man for his alleged role in facilitating the 15kg consignment detected in Sydney in March 2023.

A second Burwood man, 23, was identified and arrested by the AFP on 6 June 2023 in connection to a separate consignment of 15kg of methamphetamine seized by HSI and CBP. A search warrant at his Burwood residence resulted in AFP officers seizing a fraudulent driver’s licence, 20kg of pseudoephedrine, 100g of cocaine and an encrypted electronic device.

The Waterloo man, 23, was arrested and charged on 5 September 2023 when AFP investigators executed a search warrant at his home. It will be alleged he was attempting to import more than 8kg of methamphetamine in one of the consignments of futons intercepted in the US.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Jeremy Staunton said this investigation demonstrated how the AFP worked with partner agencies to target criminals who attempted to import dangerous drugs into our shores.

“These arrests should serve as a warning of how the AFP works with international and domestic law enforcement partners to investigate and target drug traffickers looking to profit at the expense of our communities,” Det A/Supt Staunton said.

“People who believe they can get away with importing drugs in relatively smaller quantities without any consequences need to think again. We share information on a regular basis, and our partners all around the world have shown they are willing to work with us to stop drugs ever reaching Australian shores.”

Acting ABF Superintendent Marc Rea noted the collaboration and teamwork involved in the operation.

“This outcome is another great example of the successful partnership we share with domestic and international law enforcement, and I particularly congratulate the ABF officers who detected the initial shipment,” A/g Superintendent Rea said.

“These men won’t be sleeping softly tonight, and if proven guilty, will face the full consequences of their actions for attempting to import these dangerous substances into our community.”

All three men have been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of methamphetamine, contrary to subsections 11.1(1) and 307.5(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

Homeland Security Investigations Regional Attaché Ernest Verina highlighted US law enforcement’s ongoing efforts in combatting organised crime on a global scale.

“HSI is resolute in its commitment to combating transnational organized criminal enterprises with the AFP,” he said.

“These individuals thought that their criminal activity was concealed by smuggling through different countries, well they thought wrong.”

These charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The 33-year-old, 23-year-old Burwood man and 23-year-old Waterloo man appeared before Downing Centre Local Court on 22 June, 7 June and 7 September respectively. They were all remanded into custody.

The 23-year-old Waterloo man is expected to appear before Sydney Supreme Court on 19 October, 2023. While the 23-year-old Burwood man is expected to appear before Downing Centre Local Court again on September 20, 2023.

Note to media:

Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.

  • For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
  • Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at
  • For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to

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