Drugs, guns, cash seized as FNQ cops smash alleged syndicate

 

DOZENS of people have been charged and large quantities of ice and weapons seized, after police tore apart a drug syndicate allegedly ferrying the illicit substance into the Far North.

Eight people are accused of trafficking drugs from Brisbane for distribution in Cairns, while a further 27 are facing other drug or weapons ­offences.

Five alleged members of the syndicate appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court on Tuesday on trafficking charges, including the accused Cairns ringleader Gregory Peter Betts, 45, and Brisbane supplier Joel Anthony Olm, 27.

The pair, along with three others - Matthew Thomas Cusick, 30, Shane Charles Spiteri, 41, and Russell Charles Cullen, 46 - all had their cases adjourned until November.

A loaded shortened shot gun seized at Tinaroo as part of Operation Romeo Russet. Picture: Supplied
A loaded shortened shot gun seized at Tinaroo as part of Operation Romeo Russet. Picture: Supplied


The Far North's Major and Organised Crime Squad led the operation, codenamed Romeo Russet, and Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Brad Grace said they alleged the syndicate operated for at least four months since December.

Mr Olm was arrested following a raid at a house and car at Tinaroo on the Tablelands where they allegedly seized a loaded shortened shotgun.

Sergeant Grace said they co-ordinated efforts with Brisbane-based detectives who allegedly found a clandestine laboratory in an Eight Mile Plains residence in April, along with more than 100g of methylamphetamines.

"Investigations identified that significant quantities of methylamphetamine was purchased in Brisbane and transported to Cairns for distribution," he said.

It is alleged the offenders sent the drugs to Cairns through the post.

Several Brisbane-based people have been arrested, although Sergeant Grace said the majority, about 30, of those people charged were based in Cairns.

He said police allegedly seized about $20,000 worth of meth during a search warrant in February, while quantities of cocaine, LSD, steroids, heroin, cannabis, prescription drugs, cash and firearms were also seized during the operation.

"Police will continue to target the distributors of methylamphetamine in Far North Queensland," he said.

Originally published as Drugs, guns, cash seized as FNQ cops smash alleged syndicate


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