Alleged street-level drug suppliers to the Illawarra charged by Drug and Firearms Squad

Saturday, 04 September 2021 04:57:53 AM

Two men alleged to be part of a street-level drug supply syndicate have been charged following multiple search warrants in the Illawarra region.

In December 2020, Strike Force Axon was established by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad, with assistance from Lake Illawarra and Wollongong Police Districts, to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the Illawarra.

As part of the investigation, strike force detectives, assisted by officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), executed search warrants at homes at Port Kembla, Primbee, Albion Park Rail, Wollongong, and North Nowra from about 8am yesterday (Friday 3 September 2021).

During the searches, police seized more than $200,000 cash, a rifle, illicit drugs, steroids, electronic devices, vehicles, and a jet ski, which will be subject to further forensic examination.

Two men, aged 28 and 50, were arrested at the Primbee home and taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station.

The 28-year-old man was charged with two counts of knowingly and or recklessly direct criminal group assist crime, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal, two counts of supply cannabis above indictable and below commercial quantity, supply prohibited drug above commercial quantity, supply prohibited drug above small and below indictable quantity, and supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis.

The 50-year-old man was charged with seven counts of supply prohibited drug above indictable amount, two counts of supply cannabis above indictable and below commercial quantity, and two counts of knowingly and recklessly direct criminal group assist crime.

Both men were refused bail to appear at Wollongong Bail Court today (Saturday 4 September 2021).

Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Watson, said the arrests should serve as a warning for other local drug dealers that they are on police radar.

“We are sending a strong signal to criminals: if you engage in illegal activities – it does not matter to police if your operations are small-scale or large commercial; we will come for you and prosecute you.

“All drug supply syndicates pose risks to local communities and we’re working with local resources and partners to disrupt their operations, Det Supt Watson said.

Investigations under Strike Force Axon are ongoing.

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Axon investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.