Alleged WA drug distributor arrested

Drugs found in vehicle hidden compartment

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police.

A man suspected of being the key Western Australian distributor for a national drug network is scheduled to face court today for the alleged trafficking of illegal drugs between Victoria and WA.

The 36-year-old Dianella man is one of three arrests as the result of a National Anti-Gangs Squad WA (NAGS) operation involving Victoria Police, WA Police Force and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) targeting a network with suspected links to Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs (OMCG).

Investigations began in July 2017 after WA Police Force discovered several packages sent from Melbourne to Perth. The packages contained about 115 grams of methamphetamine and 30 grams of cocaine.

Collaboration with the Victoria Police then linked the packages to the 36-year-old man.

In March 2018, related search warrants undertaken in Perth by the WA NAGS resulted in charges against a 50-year-old man and 25-year-old woman.

This activity also resulted in the seizure of 7.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine and 500 grams of MDMA. These drugs have a total estimated street value of about $6.2m.

It will be alleged in court that the 36-year-old man and his WA syndicate were using encrypted mobile phones and vehicles modified with secret compartments. These were for the purposes of trafficking illegal drugs and evading police detection.

The 36-year-old man was arrested on 4 May 2018 and, on 26 November 2018, was charged with further offences for the possession of approximately 5.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, 500 grams of cocaine and 500 grams of MDMA seized by police at an earlier date. These drugs have a total estimated street value of about $4.3m.

The police activity in Western Australia complements related investigations undertaken by the Victorian Police, NAGS Victoria and NSW Police. The east coast activity recently resulted in the arrest of a 38-year-old NSW man and the seizure of 25 kilograms of methamphetamine and in excess of two tonnes of chemicals associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

AFP Superintendent Steven Hulbert said that this operation shows the importance of cross-jurisdiction collaboration in helping police keep illegal drugs from harming more Australian lives.

“As police, we know better than most the significant and heartbreaking impact that illegal drugs have on individuals, families and whole communities – they are the communities we work and live in every day,” Supt. Hulbert said.

“This NAGS operation highlights the commitment of Australia’s law enforcement agencies to work together, combine resources and stop this abhorrent criminal behavior.”

WA Police Force Detective Inspector Mark Twamley said “once again our national network of cooperation, here spanning across three states, has resulted in a great outcome at the local level. The work done here is an example of how the WA Police Force is addressing interstate supply chains and stopping illegal drugs reaching our streets.”

Victoria Police spokesperson Detective Acting Inspector Michael Phyland thanked the officers involved across Victorian and Western Australian aspects of the investigations.

“The seamless work between our officers, WA Police Force and the AFP sends a strong message to people thinking about trafficking drugs – you will be caught eventually and the penalties are severe.”

The 36-year-old man will attend the Perth Magistrates Court later today on the following charges:

  • Possession of a trafficable quantity of methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply.
  • Possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply.
  • Possession of MDMA with intent to sell or supply.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

WA Police Force: (08) 9222 1011

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