Police smash drug rings

Ecstasy capsules seized in Ballina as a part of a drug bust code named Operation Eldorado.
Ecstasy capsules seized in Ballina as a part of a drug bust code named Operation Eldorado. Contributed

FOUR MEN have been arrested and two remain in custody, after police smashed two drug rings operating in the Northern Rivers in two days.

Comprising officers from the Richmond Local Area Command's Drug Unit, Operation Eldorado was formed in March 2012, to investigate the supply of ecstasy in the Ballina area.

Richmond LAC Crime Manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore said after extensive investigations into the supply of ecstasy, yesterday officers arrested a 32-year-old Ballina man at Ballina and a 35-year-old Byron Bay man in his home town.

"Police also seized a large quantity of cash and approximately 1400 pills believed to be ecstasy," he said.

"The investigation to date has seized approximately 4000 pills believed to be ecstasy estimated to be $100,000 in street value.

"We believe we have interrupted the distribution of a large quantity of illegal drugs on the North Coast."

Det Insp Moore said following the arrests, detectives from the Richmond and Tweed Byron LACs executed search warrants at a number of premises in Ballina, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby.

"Police do expect further arrests to follow from this investigation and our inquiries will be ongoing."

The 32-year-old Ballina man was charged with the ongoing supply of a commercial quantity of prohibited drug and supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

The 35-year-old man was charged with supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drug.

Both men were refused bail and are due to appear in Lismore Local Court today. Meanwhile two men were granted conditional bail after police discovered an underground hydroponic cannabis set-up at Casino on Thursday.

The Richmond Local Area Command Tactical Action Group TAG swooped on a multi-storey premises in Swanson Lane at Casino at 9.25am.

While searching the premises, TAG officers found 1.5kg of dried cannabis in a second storey storage room and seized 33 hydroponic cannabis plants from a concealed concrete underground room.

Police arrested a 57-year-old and a 53-year-old man at the scene.

Topics:  crime drugs lismore police

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