Six people have been charged after police seized around half a million dollars’ worth of drugs, $390,000 worth of luxury vehicles, and almost $200,000 cash, following a protracted investigation into the trafficking of large quantities of methylamphetamine to the Geelong, Ballarat, and Warrnambool regions.
Detectives executed a series of sweeping raids across Melbourne’s west, Geelong and Warrnambool yesterday morning, marking the conclusion of a four-month investigation.
Four of those arrested yesterday were charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of methylamphetamine, which comes with a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment.
A total of 10 search warrants were executed on Wednesday 30 March in Grovedale, Highton, Point Cook, Werribee, and Warrnambool, with a significant amount of illicit substances, weapons and proceeds of crime seized, including:
- 700 grams of methylamphetamine with an estimated street value of approximately $420,000.
- Weapons including a handgun, pistol, two silencers, shotgun, extendable baton.
- Three luxury vehicles that police will allege are the proceeds of crime worth a total of approximately $390,000. This includes a 2020 BMW M4, a 2014 Chrysler 300c, and a 2016 Mercedes C63 AMG Sedan.
- A 2015 Kenworth truck and five motorbikes, including a 2018 KTM450; a 2015 Honda CR450; a 2018 Suzuki GSXR 750; a 2012 Suzuki RM80; a 2010 BMW S1000, all believed to be the proceeds of crime.
- Approximately $196,530 in cash.
- 38g of cocaine with an estimated street value of approximately $16,000.
- Small quantities of GHB, MDMA pills, anabolic steroids, cannabis, and testosterone.
- Allegedly fraudulent and fake identification documents.
Among those arrested and charged were:
- A 32-year-old Highton man who was charged with traffick commercial quantity of methylamphetamine and remanded to face Geelong Magistrates’ Court on 31 March 2022.
- A 30-year-old Point Cook man who was charged with traffick commercial quantity of methylamphetamine and remanded to face Geelong Magistrates’ Court on 31 March 2022.
- A 34-year-old Point Cook man who was charged with traffick commercial quantity of methylamphetamine and remanded to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 31 March 2022.
- A 31-year-old Warrnambool man who was charged with traffick commercial quantity of methylamphetamine and remanded to face Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court on 31 March 2022.
- A 26-year-old Werribee man who was charged with possess drug of dependence and bailed to face Werribee Magistrates’ Court on 10 October 2022.
- A 27-year-old Werribee woman who was charged with possess drug of dependence and bailed to face Werribee Magistrates’ Court on 10 October 2022.
The operation was led by detectives from Western Region Crime Squad, with support from crime investigation units based in Wyndham, Geelong and Warrnambool; divisional response units from Geelong, Warrnambool and Westgate; family violence investigation units from Warrnambool and Westgate; Geelong Tasking and Crime Investigation Taskforce (TACIT); Warrnambool Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT); and the K9 Unit.
Quotes attributed to Detective Senior Sergeant Matthew Kershaw – Western Region Crime Squad:
“This week’s arrests have caused a huge dent in the supply of methylamphetamine across south western Victoria, with almost half a million dollars’ worth of the drug removed from the streets.
“A number of those arrested are now staring at the very real possibility of up to 25 years in a prison cell, which is a world away from the fast money and fast cars many drug traffickers foolishly think will last forever.
“As part of these investigations, we are not only focused on arresting those peddling drugs within our community, but also financially decimating anyone involved in drug trafficking, by seizing every single dollar and asset they have illegally gained.
“Victoria Police has zero tolerance for drug traffickers, especially those who prey on people who are addicted and vulnerable.
“Make no mistake – those who deliberately corrupt the safety of the Victorian community with illicit drugs will be caught and thrown before a court.”