ONE of the state's top cops has issued a blunt warning to potential drug dealers looking to fill the void after police smashed Tamworth's 'ice castle'.
Western Region Commander and NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said despite 14 people being behind bars or on bail for drug and firearm supply charges, there was more to come.
"The police are still out there arresting further offenders coming out of that investigation," he told the Leader.
He's praised the dogged detectives behind Strike Force Radius - the nine-month secret Oxley police sting - that officers claim has brought down the Tamworth 'ice castle'.
"We believe that prohibited drugs are the root of many of our problems in many of our communities and we will go all out and continue to focus on these insidious groups of people, these criminals who continue to prey on the weaknesses of others," he said.
Police allege the drug dealing gang - that had links to Sydney, the Central Coast and Melbourne - was operating out of a Petra Avenue housing commission unit in South Tamworth, dealing large quantities of ice, as well as other drugs.
He conceded there would always be drug dealers who step up to service the market, but has issued a blunt warning: police will come after them.
"There's always someone out there to take the risk and get involved in drug supply," he said.
"If you want to get involved and stick your head up and dabble in drug supply, it'll be your door we come knocking on next and we will do everything we possibly can to see you locked up."
Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said there were critics who believe police weren't doing enough to bust the dealers or stop the 'ice castle', as it was commonly referred too.
"People will say, 'Oh the cops aren't doing anything', but we are doing something, and this is an example, this operation ran for a long time and now the net is closing on the whole organisation," he said.
"You know we can grab some information, and we often do, apply to the court, get a search warrant, go round and we search the place and we find a small amount of drugs and we arrest the person and put them before the court. That's one method.
"Another way is to conduct an operation like Radius and try and get the whole network. Large quantities of drugs, large quantities of money, showing that very real criminal intent, [and] how devious these people are and how they work as a network, and then we cut that out of the community.
"I think that has a far greater effect.
"We ask people to stick with us, provide us with the information, keep telling us what is going on in their street, get the rego numbers [on the cars], get the details and pass them on."