Truckie speed network cracked
FOUR people have been arrested at Sydney and Chilcotts Grass, near Goonellabah, in a police operation targetting drug dealing to long-haul truck drivers using the Pacific and New England highways.
UPDATE 9.45am: CAR drivers under the influence of drugs are more common and a greater threat to other road users than truckies, a safety campaigner has said.
Truck driver and safety campaigner Rod Hannafee has told ABC Radio comparatively few truck drivers used drugs these days.
Mr Hannafee said he knew of a truck driver testing operation that had been run at Dubbo where police stopped and tested 1300 truck drivers but arrested only one. The same operation tested 15 car drivers, three of whom ended up on drug charges.
"There's always a small group that does the wrong thing no matter what group you are in," he said.
"Years ago it was a lot more widespread, but we didn't use amphetamines then, it was more ephedrine and things and the government outlawed that.
"Unfortunately there are those that through some pressure, some of it from themselves, do need or believe they need to take drugs and it's something we would like to help those drivers get away from."
Mr Hannafee said there needed to be ways to help truck drivers who did use drugs get away from them safely.
"If they admit to such a problem, well they're out of a job, they lose their family, they lose their house, they lose their truck," he said.
"If we had somewhere those people could turn then maybe we could educate them and get them off the drugs and maybe that would be the best outcome for all."
Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore said the investigation that led to the arrests at Chilcotts Grass and Sydney was ongoing and the people arrested could face more charges.
7.40am: A TRUCK driver and his wife have been accused of selling the amphetamines, also known as "speed", to other truckies driving the Pacific and New England highways.
The man's wife, 54, has been arrested after police yesterday raided the couple's home at Chilcotts Grass, south of Goonellabah, seizing "a number of drug items", police from the Richmond Local Area Command have posted on their Facebook page.
At the same time, officers from the command's drug unit and from the Gangs Squad in Sydney arrested the truck driver, 47, and two other men, aged 41 and 49, at Eastern Creek.
Police are accusing the 41-year-old man of selling two ounces of speed to the Chilcotts Grass truck driver. They say the truck driver then sold 3.5 grams of the drug to the 49-year-old man, who was also working as a truck driver.
The raid and arrests follow a months-long investigation, dubbed "Chilcott" by police.
Police say the investigation, which began in January, found "significant evidence" the Chilcotts Grass couple were dealing speed to interstate truck drivers who would use the drugs while driving on the Pacific and New England highways between Brisbane and Sydney.
The woman was last night charged with two counts of supplying indictable quantities of prohibitied drugs and one count of supplying a prohibited drug. She was held in police custody overnight and is expected to face Lismore Local Court today.
Her husband also spend the night behind bars and will this morning face Blacktown Local Court, charged with two counts of supplying an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug, supplying a prohibited drug and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
The 41-year-old man accused of supplying him the speed was also held in custody overnight and is expected to also face Blacktown Local Court today, charged with supplying an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug and possessing steroids.
The 49-year-old truck driver alleged to have bought 3.5 grams of speed from the Chilcotts Grass man was released on police bail yesterday and is expected to appear at Mt Druitt Local Court next month to answer a charge of possessing a prohibited drug.