Police have arrested five people and found what they allege is a methamphetamine lab in a suburban street of Bangalow as a result of cross-border crime-gang investigations.
The raid on the property in Palm Tree Crescent yesterday morning netted two rifles, a shotgun, methamphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, steroids and cash.
A 33-year-old man was issued a court attendance notice for allegedly hindering police officers in the course of their duty during the raid.
The local sting is part of a cross-border operation that has been underway since November targeting members of the Ballina chapter of the Rebels motorcycle gang, who police allege were trafficking drugs from NSW over the border into Queensland where they were being sold to buyers on the Gold Coast.
APN Media reported the 31-year-old treasurer of the Ballina chapter was arrested and $14,000 worth of amphetamines was seized.
A simultaneous raid on six properties in southern Queensland resulted in the arrest of five people yesterday.
Queensland police yesterday arrested a 31-year-old man, a 27-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman and charged them with multiple drug possession, manufacture and other criminal offences.
A 21-year-old woman was charged with possession and a 31-year-old man with receiving property obtained from drug trafficking.
Richmond LAC crime manager, detective inspector Cameron Lindsay, said his officers were working closely with Queensland police involved in Taskforce Maxima and specialist NSW police from Strike Force Raptor, ‘to tackle outlaw motorcycle gang activity in northern NSW and southeast Queensland’.
He described the drug manufacturing activities as ‘extremely dangerous’.
‘Explosive chemicals are used, neighbouring properties are put at risk and people are put at risk,’ he told ABC radio this morning. ‘It’s atrocious that these kind of activities are [taking place] within these suburban areas.’
At a press conference yesterday Detective Inspector Lindsay vowed police would continue to take up the fight to the illegal activities of motorcycle gangs.
‘If you’re involved with outlaw motor cycle gangs, you can be absolutely sure that we’re keeping a close watch on you,’ he said.
‘As has been the case for many years now, we regularly and proactively gather intelligence on the bikie chapters located here in northern NSW,’ he added.
‘Whenever we catch them breaking the law, whether it’s through running a red light or through manufacturing drugs, you can rest assured we will arrest and charge them.
‘We work closely with our colleagues over the border in Queensland, and regularly share intelligence and resources to tackle those criminals who attempt to conduct their illegal activities across state boundaries.
‘It doesn’t matter where these bikie members live or how they operate; if they break the law, they can expect to be arrested by police.’
Investigations are continuing and police expect to lay further charges.