Victorian driver arrested twice during Operation Brushwood as rural crime-related offences targeted - Murray River

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 09:07:03 PM

A Victorian man has been arrested twice in just over two days by officers targeting rural crime-related offences in the state’s Riverina.

Investigators attached to the Rural Crime Prevention Team (RCPT), established Operation Brushwood to target rural crime-related offences throughout Southern Region.

The five-day operation was conducted in the Murray River Police District between Thursday 28 March 2024 and Monday 1 April 2024.

It was about 3.30pm on Thursday that officers working under Operation Brushwood, arrested and charged a 25-year-old man after he was detected allegedly driving a ute west at 180km/h in a 100km/h zone on the Riverina Highway, Savernake, 100km from west of Albury.

Officers stopped the driver on Corcoran Street, Berrigan, and subjected him to a roadside breath and drug analysis, returning a positive drug test.

When the vehicle was searched, police allegedly seized a machete, and a substance believed to be an illicit drug.

The man, from Kerang in Victoria, was arrested and taken to Finley Police Station when he allegedly returned a positive secondary drug test; this has been sent for further analysis with charges pending on the outcome.

The man was issued an infringement notice for exceeding the speed over 45km/h, and a notice of suspension of authority to drive in NSW. He was issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice (FCAN) for drug possession, and a fine for possession of a machete found in the vehicle. The man’s ute was issued with a major defect notice.

About 10pm on Saturday (30 March 2024), police were patrolling Racecourse Road, Deniliquin, when they stopped the same man driving the same vehicle.

He was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returning a positive reading. Police also allegedly located illegal drugs when the man was searched.

He was taken to Deniliquin Police Station, where he was subjected to a secondary breath analysis which returned a reading of 0.04; however, due to the man’s driving privileges being suspended, he was subject to special PCA limits.

A secondary drug test was also conducted which returned a positive result and the man was suspended from driving for a period of 24 hours.

The man was then charged with four offences,

  • Drive when driver visiting privileges are withdrawn
  • Possess prohibited drug
  • Special category driver drive with special range PCA, and
  • Breach of bail

The man was released on strict conditional bail; however, about 2.50am Sunday 31 March 2024, police were called to Deniliquin Racecourse due to a man driving a ute conducting burnouts. The same man was once again arrested and was taken to Deniliquin Police Station where he was charged with a further four offences,

  • Drive recklessly/prolong, sustain etc loss of traction -
  • Drive when driver visiting privileges withdrawn-
  • Use vehicle in contravention of major defect notice
  • Use registrable vehicle not - display authorised number-plates

He was refused bail and appeared in Wagga Wagga Local Court that day, where he was once again refused bail and remanded in custody to appear in Albury Local Court on 14 May 2024.

During the operation, officers conducted 60 random breath tests, issued 11 traffic infringement notices, conducted seven inspections of licensed premises, made three drug detections, as well as multiple vehicle and person searches, fishing licence and firearm inspections, and campsite inspections at Werai National Park and Murray Valley National Park.