A WELL-organised drug ring was busted wide open in Gympie this week in a two-day police operation that led to the arrest of 13 people from Gympie, North Deep Creek, Tin Can Bay, Veteran and the Southside.
A combined total of about 50 charges were laid, $50,000 worth of methylamphetamine and marijuana seized, as well as guns, cash, utensils, motorbikes and cars.
Some of the alleged members of the drug trafficking and supply ring appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday and others will face their charges at later dates.
It is the biggest drug bust in the region in at least 12 months and has stopped $35,000 in amphetamines and $14,500 in marijuana from hitting the Gympie streets, though some of it is believed to have been destined for the Sunshine and Fraser Coasts as well, police said.
Thirty-five police officers from the State Drug Investigation Unit, dog squad and North Coast Region conducted a series of raids on an isolated property at North Deep Creek, and at other properties yesterday and Wednesday, arresting nine people between the ages of 28 and 59 on Wednesday, and another four yesterday morning.
Cars and motorbikes worth about $170,000 were seized, along with a pistol and two long arms, $10,000 in cash, scales, bongs, and drugs.
Some of the marijuana was found growing in forestry land and some hydroponically in an elaborate set up.
Two people were remanded to Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday and nine others have been issued with notices to appear.
Detective Senior Sergeant Sasha Finney from the drug squad said yesterday police executed six warrants on Wednesday and another five yesterday.
She said she was extremely pleased with the success of the operation, which also seized two Harley Davidson motorbikes, an $80,000 restored 1932 hot rod, two quad bikes and a green restored Torana.
A 54-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman from North Deep Creek have both been charged with one count of trafficking dangerous drugs, one count of supplying dangerous drugs, two counts of possessing dangerous drugs and one count of possessing a firearm.
A 30-year-old Veteran man has been charged with one count each of producing dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs, possessing things used in connection with a drug, and possessing a utensil.
A 28-year-old Veteran man has been charged with one count of producing dangerous drugs, one count of possessing dangerous drugs, two counts of possessing things and one count of possessing a utensil.
A 31-year-old Veteran woman, a 32-year-old Southside woman, a 51-year-old North Deep Creek man, another North Deep Creek man and a 59-year-old Gympie woman have all been issued with a notice to appear for various drug offences.
Gympie District officer Superintendent Chris Sang said investigations were continuing.
"Invariably after this sort of operation more information comes to light," he said.
"It was very successful and we are very pleased with the results. This will have a significant impact on drug users here."