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Man charged following joint agency investigation into 'dark web' drug supply

Friday, 30 June 2017 12:28:59 AM

A man has been charged following a joint investigation by NSW Police Force and Australian Federal Police into illicit drug supply on the ‘dark web’.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug Squad and AFP established Strike Force Colette to investigate the sale of drugs over the internet.

Following extensive investigations, strike force investigators, with the assistance of the Public Order and Riot Squad, executed two search warrants at properties at Tempe and Wolli Creek about 8am yesterday (Thursday 29 June 2017).

During the warrants, investigators seized cocaine, MDMA, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), more than $12,000 cash, drug paraphernalia, packaging, and laptops with sophisticated hardware and software encryption.

A 43-year-old man was arrested at the Tempe home and taken to Newtown Police Station.

He was charged with eight counts of drug supply, deal with property proceeds of crime, and supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis.

Police will allege in court the man has been taking orders for prohibited drugs online and supplying the orders via post. His ‘business’ is alleged to have been running for at least two years.

The man was refused bail and will appear at Newtown Local Court today (Friday 30 June 2017).

Drug Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Tony Cooke, said while technology has enhanced our lives in many positive ways, it has also provided opportunity for criminal activities.

“The internet allows drug suppliers to engage with users from the comfort of their own homes or anywhere they are on their mobiles,” Det Supt Cooke said.

“This criminal enterprise presents a unique challenge for law enforcement, but, we too are evolving and adapting our tactics to infiltrate these spaces and detect drug transactions.

“Strike Force Colette is only a small part of the work we are doing in this space, and we will continue to collaborate with the AFP and other partners on all aspects of the availability of illicit drugs.

“The fact remains, our greatest challenge is demand. We will continue to target trafficking, supply, and manufacture, but reducing demand must become a priority for the entire community,” Det Supt Cooke said.

AFP National Manager Specialist Operations, Dr Simon Walsh said Strike Force Colette demonstrates the importance and strength of the relationship between the AFP and New South Wales Police.

“The effective working relationship between the AFP and NSW Police has led to a highly successful outcome and it is important Australian law enforcement agencies continue to work together to combat illicit drug supply,” said Dr Walsh.