A DRUG raid on Friday night resulted in four arrests and the seizure of firearms, methamphetamine and stolen goods in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra.
Police said the arrests across the Shoalhaven and Lake Illawarra local area commands will put a large dent in a crystal methamphetamine ring that has been operating in the areas.
Detectives, under Strike Force Gruner, have been conducting an ongoing covert investigation into the supply of illicit drugs, mainly crystal methamphetamine, throughout the Shoalhaven Local Area Command and that operation came to a head on Friday.
Four men were arrested in simultaneous raids at Sanctuary Point, Vincentia, Sussex Inlet, Port Kembla and Yallah, which netted officers 714 grams, or $140,000 to $150,000 worth of the drug crystal meth or ice as it is commonly known.
Three men were arrested at Yallah and one at Vincentia and charged with a variety of offences including the supply of a commercial quantity of crystal methamphetamine.
Heavily armed officers from the Tactical Operations Unit from Sydney assisted in the arrests in Yallah in the Lake Illawarra Command, where three men aged 29, 31 and 35 were arrested in the car park of a fast food outlet.
In the Shoalhaven, a 26-year-old man was arrested at Vincentia.
He was charged with commercial supply of a prohibited drug and eight counts of supply prohibited drug.
Officer in charge of the Nowra detectives, Detective Sergeant Scott Nelson said search warrants were served on five locations simultaneously throughout the two commands.
He said up to 45 staff assisted in the operation including officers from the Shoalhaven, Lake Illawarra and Far South Coast commands, as well as the Public Order and Riot Squad and the State Crime Command.
As well as netting the crystal meth, during the searches police also seized four firearms, steroids, 1.8kg of cannabis and a large amount of property suspected of being stolen; including motor vehicles, a boat, a caravan, poker machines, tools, computers, ammunition and cash.
Cars, a boat and a caravan suspected of being stolen were also seized.
Police worked into the early hours of Saturday morning processing the various locations.
Detective Sergeant Nelson said the operation had been ongoing for eight months and would continue in the Shoalhaven.
“The drug ice is an ongoing problem in the wider community not just in the Shoalhaven and it is something local police are targeting,” he said.
“This has obviously made a significant dent into the drug ice in the Shoalhaven and local detectives will continue to investigate these matters of supply.”
All four men appeared before special sittings of Wollongong and Nowra Local Courts on Saturday and were refused bail, the Vincentia man to reappear in Nowra court on Monday and all three will face Wollongong court on Monday.
Detective Sergeant Nelson said police would continue to seek the assistance of anyone who has any information about people who are supplying drugs. They can contact Shoalhaven detectives on 4421 9699, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: www.police .nsw.gov.au/.
He said any information would be treated in the strictest of confidence.