POLICE have struck a blow in the local war on drugs after dismantling a massive alleged drug ring operating in Tamworth.
Tens of thousands of dollars worth of drugs, as well as cash, firearms, a taser and explosives, have been taken off the streets as part of the haul.
The co-ordinated strike on four men and one woman has been months in the making, with a dedicated team set up in October to bring down the ring.
And Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd said police weren’t finished yet.
“It certainly will have a dent on local drug supplies, but there are further arrests to follow in this operation. We are sending a message to the druggies in our town: we’re coming after you,” he said.
The five alleged offenders – all Tamworth locals believed to be aged in their 30s – are facing more than 20 charges between them, including ongoing supply of a prohibited drug – a charge which carries up to 25 years in prison.
“This has been across the town, the whole city. We know these people have been supplying across the city,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
“This is 200g of methamphetamine which would be in our town, in our community, so we’re very pleased to be able to take it away.”
Most of the group have been refused bail to front court on Monday while one of the men arrested late yesterday afternoon is facing additional charges of accessing child pornography.
He is expected to face an out-of-sessions court hearing this week.
Strike Force Jenning was set up to look at the ongoing supply of drugs in Tamworth but police said the results will be felt much wider.
“We know there is direct links between drugs and crime, we know there is direct links between drugs and property crime,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
As part of the haul, investigators seized methamphetamines, a significant amount of cannabis, prescription drugs including Oxycontin and prohibited weapons.
“It goes hand-in-hand today with criminals, they arm themselves, they’re reckless, the types of drugs they’re using themselves are mind-altering substances, they’re careless, they’re paranoid,” Acting Superintendent Budd said.
“Any weapon is dangerous in the wrong hands, certainly firearms provide an easy out for people to attack or defend themselves.”
Police will allege the weapons were illegally obtained, through organised crime, with one man also accused of recruiting others to sell drugs.