Alleged drug dealing racket exposed in northern NSW
UPDATE: ANOTHER five suspects have been arrested today as police continue to dismantle an alleged major syndicate behind the large-scale supply of drugs in Coffs Harbour and Armidale.
A total of 19 arrests have now been made at the culmination of an eight-month long investigation by the Coffs Clarence and New England Police Districts.
Officers have continued to execute another spate of search warrants at addresses in Coffs Harbour this afternoon.
Two Toormina men, aged 54 and 23, have been charged with a number of drug supply offences.
A 19-year-old Woolgoolga man, a 19-year-old Coffs Harbour woman and a 25-year-old Coffs Harbour man have also been charged with a number of drug supply offences.
Police also executed a search warrant on a storage unit at Coffs Harbour, seizing five rifles, two shotguns, a pistol and ammunition.
Investigations are continuing.
12PM: AN ALLEGED large-scale drug syndicate operating between Coffs Harbour and Armidale has been dismantled by police today following an eight month-long investigation.
It's alleged a number of Armidale drug dealers have been travelling almost 200km to Coffs Harbour to purchase large amounts of ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines primarily from two homes in Toormina.
As part of Strike Force Janian established in May, police raided eight residences in Toormina and Coffs Harbour, and four in Armidale this morning.
Officers seized cash, drugs and weapons including knuckle-dusters, and have so far arrested a total of 14 people - nine men and two women.
Fronting the media this morning, Coffs Clarence Crime Manager Detective Inspector Peter O'Reilly said it was "great police work" between detectives from the Coffs Clarence and the New England Police Districts that led to the arrests.
"We had some very early meetings and some plans were established, and eight months down the track we see these results today," he said.
Det Insp O'Reilly estimated the drugs seized were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He said some of the alleged offenders were known to police, while some were not. He said two of the men are associates of outlaw motorcycle gangs.
Coffs Harbour and Armidale police were assisted by the northern Region Enforcement Squad to monitor the syndicate's activities over the past 16 months.
Police were also aided by Strike Force Raptor and Operation Support Group officers to carry out the dawn raids today.
A Toormina man, 24, is alleged to be the leader of the supply operation. He has been charged with 30 drug supply related offences, supplying an illegal firearm and knowingly directing activities of a criminal group.
A Coffs Harbour woman, 19, and two Coffs Harbour men aged 19 and 26 were also arrested and charged with a number of drug supply offences.
In Armidale, two men aged 24 and 27 were arrested and charged, as well as a 24 year old woman and a 52-year-old Uralla man.
A Brisbane man, 21, was arrested and charged at Lismore. Police also arrested two men, aged 20 and 29, in Newcastle.
Coffs/Clarence Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Steve Clarke, praised the investigators for their pain-staking work throughout the case.
"These officers have put in a lot of effort to catch the alleged drug dealers and put them out of business," he said.