A MAN and a woman face up to 20 years in jail if found guilty of supplying the drug ice on an ongoing basis after Oxley police smashed an alleged drug ring.
Five people have been charged with 27 drug, guns and other offences after a secret operation culminated in arrests in Gunnedah and Tamworth.
Code-named Strike Force Orison, the operation was set up in late 2015 to home in on the supply of methamphetamine in the Tamworth, Gunnedah and Narrabri areas.
“Another ring of [alleged] drug dealing has been halted which hopefully means less poison on our streets,” Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd told The Leader.
“This is another massive operation spearheaded by Oxley Detectives with the support of the Target Action Group and general duties police.”
Police allege David John Byrnes was an upper level supplier in the ring and the 52-year-old faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars if convicted of dealing drugs on an ongoing basis.
Byrnes appeared again in Tamworth Local Court on Monday facing six charges including acquiring a firearm without a permit, supplying a pistol and supplying a firearm to a person unauthorised to possess it.
He was not required to enter pleas and Magistrate Clare Farnan refused bail, ordering he remain in custody until March while police prepare a brief of evidence.
Co-accused Colleen Catherine Bree is charged with 14 offences including supplying on an ongoing basis, taking part in the supply of methamphetamine and conspiracy to deal drugs.
After four days in custody, she was granted conditional in Tamworth Local Court on Monday to live near Gunnedah, report to police everyday and post $5,000 in surety.
Shannon James Bree appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to four drug supply charges and has been bail refused since his arrest last week.
Gunnedah’s Teegan Wortley, 18, is charged with supplying a pistol to a person unauthorised to possess it and was granted bail in an out-of-sessions hearing in Tamworth court last week.
Acting Superintendent Budd said there are further arrests to come.
“This is a dangerous and destructive drug,” he said.
“This drug destroys families, it ruins lives, it impacts our towns and we will continue to target those people who are peddling the misery in our communities.
“We will continue to fight this scourge but we need community members to work with us.”