Six of the eight South East men arrested on Thursday, June 14, for trafficking illicit drugs including methamphetamine and cannabis appeared in court on Friday.
The six who appeared in Mount Gambier Magistrates Court were all accused of trafficking controlled drugs, with one also accused of firearms offences. They were all remanded in custody to appear in court at a later date.
Two of the other accused were bailed and did not appear in court.
Five of the eight accused men are from Naracoorte, one from Penola and two from Mount Gambier.
The Herald has chosen not to publish the names of the accused online at this time. Their names will be published in the next edition of the Naracoorte Herald on Thursday, June 21.
Eight men were arrested on Thursday, June 14, following a 12-month long investigation into the trafficking of illicit drugs, including methamphetamine and cannabis, in the South East.
A total of 43 police officers, led by the Serious and Organised Crime Branch (SOCB), searched nine properties in Mount Gambier, Naracoorte and Penola, and made eight arrests.
Also involved in the operation were detectives from the Mt Gambier CIB, the Dog Operations Unit and police from the Limestone Coast Local Service Area.
Those arrested were:
- A 34-year-old Penola man who has been charged with seven counts of trafficking a controlled drug.
- A 45-year-old Naracoorte man who has been charged with 31 counts of trafficking a controlled drug and three counts of trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug.
- A 39-year-old Naracoorte man has been charged with 10 counts of trafficking a controlled drug.
- A 21-year-old Naracoorte man has been charged with two counts of trafficking a controlled drug.
- A 47-year-old man from Naracoorte has been charged with 13 counts of trafficking a controlled drug and two counts of trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug.
- A 19-year-old man from Naracoorte has been charged with two counts of trafficking a controlled drug.
- A 21-year-old man from Mt Gambier has been charged with 16 counts of trafficking a controlled drug.
- A 25-year-old man from Mt Gambier has been charged with one count of possessing a firearm, one count of trafficking a controlled drug and one count of trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug.
Police will allege that the men were involved in the trafficking of methamphetamine (Ice) and cannabis across the South East.
They have been refused police bail and are expected to appear in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court on Friday.
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Crameri, from the SOCB’s Drug and Organised Crime Task Force said his branch regularly work collaboratively with local police to target the supply of methylamphetamine in the community.
“Methylamphetamine has a damaging impact upon our community, particularly in regards to health and law and order,” he said. “The harms associated with illicit drug use, including Ice, are often magnified in rural and isolated communities.
“This investigation, conducted under the framework of the SA Police Operation ATLAS which is focused on disrupting the methylamphetamine trade, is an example of police actively targeting drug dealers based in country locations.
“The community can assist with this effort by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333000 with information about the sale and manufacture of illicit drugs in the community.”