Mid North Coast men charged with string of drug supply offences

Crime busters: Detective Senior Constable Darren McArdle and Superintendent Paul Fehon with the seized drugs and money. Photo: Matt Attard

Crime busters: Detective Senior Constable Darren McArdle and Superintendent Paul Fehon with the seized drugs and money. Photo: Matt Attard

POLICE have seized drugs, a large sum of cash and multiple guns following raids in Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Bonny Hills, Beechwood and Kendall on November 1 and 2.

It was one of the largest hauls in recent history for officers from the Mid North Coast Local Area Command (MNC LAC) who continue their covert operation to rid the community of extreme and dangerous criminal activity.

More than $400,000 cash, over 1.8 kilograms of methylamphetamine (commonly known as ice) with a street value of more than $300,000, and weapons including a .22 machine pistol and a sawn off shotgun were found following the raids on Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Bonny Hills on November 1.

As a result, police arrested and charged three men with a range of offences. All three men fronted Port Macquarie Local Court on Thursday, November 2.

Jason Andrew Cook, 41, of Laurieton was charged with four offences and granted conditional bail.

Matthew Layton Jones, 45, of Wauchope was charged with five offences and denied bail.

Aaron Reid Bailey, 34, of Bonny Hills was charged with 13 offences and denied bail.

The case was adjourned until December 7, 2017.

The ongoing investigation includes detectives from the MNC LAC who established Strike Force Wokari, and are assisted by Strike Force Raptor and the Police Dog Unit.

We are going to work continually to ensure we put a dent in the drug problem across the whole Mid North Coast.

Superintendent Paul Fehon

Further searches were conducted at Beechwood and Kendall on November 2 in which police located a number of illegal firearms, 200 cannabis plants and a quantity of methylamphetamine, plus a rebirthed caravan.

Three people are currently assisting with police inquiries following the most recent search.

Superintendent Paul Fehon said he expects more arrests to be made, and praised the investigation that has now put a major dent in the town’s crime syndicate.

“We are going to work continually to ensure we put a dent in the drug problem across the whole Mid North Coast,” he said.

 “We will be alleging we have uncovered what we believe is a recipe for the manufacture of drugs and the drugs we have seized we will also be alleging those persons have been engaged in the cooking of those drug,” he said.

“We will allege the three men charged have been engaged in a large scale criminal network and that the money seized is the proceeds of crime from the sale of drugs.”

A lot of dough: Some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash seized by police on November 1, 2017. Photo: Matt Attard

A lot of dough: Some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash seized by police on November 1, 2017. Photo: Matt Attard

Supt Fehon said the strike force investigation has been covertly working for a number of months and he is happy to see a significant amount of the deadly drug off the streets.

“It is one of the biggest seizures we have had across the Mid North Coast for a number of years,” he said.

“We hear many times of the concerns of family members of people who have seen their lives ruined by drugs, especially the drug ice.

“Today just shows the amount of drugs that will not be out there, and we will continue to take them out of our community.”