Detectives have charged 16 people with 32 drug offences on Thursday after a year-long operation targeting the supply of ice in the Mount Isa area.
The area has long been suspected as part of the “ice highway” to the Northern Territory.
Operation Papa Journey began July 2017 after an increase in methylamphetamine use in Mount Isa. Police acted on community information and executed 160 search warrants in Mount Isa and Gulf communities. Detectives charged 163 people on 385 charges.
On December 3, 2017 police intercepted a Holden Ute 20km east of Mount Isa. A search of the vehicle allegedly located 283g of ice in a hidden compartment. A 46-year-old Pioneer man and a 40-year-old Healy man have been charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine) and possession of a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine). The Healy man will reappear in Mount Isa Magistrates Court on August 27. The Pioneer man will reappear on December 17.
Police executed 10 search warrants between June 12 and 15 at Karumba, Normanton and Burketown and charged 11 people with 23 offences.
A 50-year-old Karumba man has been charged with one count each of possession of a dangerous drug (methylamphetamine) and possession of utensil and obstruct police. A 25-year-old Karumba man has been charged with two counts of possession of a dangerous drug (cannabis and methylamphetamine) and possession of utensil. Both are expected to appear at the Normanton Magistrates Court on July 2.
A total of 29 search warrants were executed over three days in Hughenden, Cloncurry and Mount Isa with 22 people charged with 44 drug offences. A 67-year-old Cloncurry man was charged Wednesday with supply dangerous drug (cannabis). He will appear at the Cloncurry Magistrates Court on August 16.
A 45-year-old Mount Isa woman has been charged with two counts of possession of dangerous drug (morphine and cannabis), possession of utensil and fail to dispose of syringe. She will appear at Mount Isa Magistrates Court on July 16.
Police allegedly located 2g of ice and $3600 in a bedroom of a Hughenden residence on Tuesday. Police also located a conductive energy weapon and a clip seal bag containing one gram of methylamphetamine at a Mount Isa residence Thursday.
Acting Detective Inspector Dave Barron said the operation targeted the northern end of the “ice highway” which sees drugs driven up through western Queensland.
“Queensland Police have been targeting the movement of drugs throughout western Queensland resulting in a series of arrests from St George to Karumba,” Acting Detective Inspector Barron said.
“This operation has had a significant impact on the drug trade with the seizure of over $700 000 of ice in the Mount Isa area.
“I thank the community for the information which led to these raids and remind people that we can only act when we have information.”
The search warrants deployed 38 officers including detectives from Longreach, Charters Towers and Cloncurry and police dog squad units from Cairns and Townsville plus local officers.
- Courtesy North West Star
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