POLICE believe locals could be hiding those behind secret drug labs in the New England after a second meth house was uncovered.
Investigators are hunting several people who were manufacturing the drug ice and MDMA at properties in Inverell and Tingha, after the second large-scale lab was found in Winterwood Road, Tingha.
New England Superintendent Scott Tanner said police believe community members are helping them to hide from officers.
“These people know who they are and we want to speak with them, and there are members of the community that will hide them,” he said on Wednesday.
Those people know who they are, those people need to contact us before we come crashing through their doors.New England Superintendent Scott Tanner
“Those people know who they are, those people need to contact us before we come crashing through their doors.”
The second elaborate drug set-up was uncovered in a shed about 10.30am on Monday when police from Strike Force Clune raided the Winterwood Road house, about 30km out of Inverell.
On Tuesday morning, police raided a Swan Street, Inverell property and seized goods relating to the manufacture of illegal drugs.
Superintendent Tanner said more than 400 items including drug precursors, glasswear and documents have been seized as part of the investigation – led by New England detectives, the drug and firearms’ squad and the chemical operations unit.
He said the labs are linked, and the specialist police had been “looking at a number of people in that area” before officers homed in on Friday.
“Since Friday of last week, police have executed seven search warrants in the Inverell and Tingha area,” he said.
Since Friday of last week, police have executed seven search warrants in the Inverell and Tingha area.New England Superintendent Scott Tanner
“The public provided a lot of evidence to police, however, there was some background investigative stuff done by police in Inverell that led to the execution of these warrants.”
Superintendent Tanner said the group were facing serious charges for manufacturing drugs, which had been supplied onto local streets. He said they had evidence to suggest “they’ve been there for quite sometime”.
“What we’ve done over the last couple of days is put a very big dint in the distribution and manufacture of that drug and in particular ice in the Inverell and Tingha area,” he said.
“They are producing it locally, they would have a market locally, we are also tracking down other avenues where they’ve been supplied too.”