A MAN will face court on the Central Coast on Friday after police seized 400 kilograms of precursor chemicals as part of an investigation into drug manufacture and supply that has disrupted $230 million in potential trade.
Strike Force Footman was established in May last year from State Crime Command detectives in the Drug and Firearms Squad with assistance from Australian Border Force.
The officers were following up on information about chemicals and precursors for the manufacture of MDMA and methamphetamine.
On Thursday morning police arrested a 32-year-old man at a Terrigal unit complex. He was taken to Gosford police station while officers searched properties in Terrigal, Killcare and a West Gosford storage facility.
Investigators took pill press parts, equipment allegedly used in manufacturing drugs and 400 kilograms of substances they will allege are precursor chemicals.
Police said the chemicals could have made up to 250 kilograms of ice with an estimated potential street value of $225 million.
The man was charged with 14 drug offences, participate in a criminal group and drive while suspended. He was refused bail and will face Gosford Local Court on Friday.
Earlier this year, an explosion at a clandestine laboratory in Stanhope Gardens led the strike force to arrest a 38-year-old man at a Diamond Beach caravan park. He was taken to Forster police station and charged and remains before the courts.
Drug and Firearms Squad Commander Detective Acting Superintendent Michael Cook said police will forge on despite their seizures to date tallying up to a potential $230 million.
“This approach is working; in the past financial year, we have seen an increase of 47 per cent in locating and dismantling clandestine laboratories,” he said. “We will continue to work to detect and seize illegal drugs using various methods and by targeting drug supply and possession at all levels.
“Those involved in the manufacture or supply of drugs should know this – you are in our sights and it won’t be long now until you’re sitting in the back of a police car.”