19 arrests made in human growth hormone, steroid busts
INVESTIGATORS from Taskforce Maxima working with the Australian Border Force have today closed a major operation focused on the trafficking of human growth hormones and steroids, raiding multiple residences across Brisbane and the Gold Coast and charging 19 people of 50 charges.
Operation Oscar Ocean commenced in June 2015, tasked with fighting the importation of steroids and human growth hormones.
During the operation, police discovered a network of individuals operating from a Jindalee residence and receiving, manufacturing and distributing the steroids.
This morning, officers from Taskforce Maxima, Australian Border Force and Moreton CIB executed search warrants at addresses in Jindalee, Kirra, Mermaid Beach, Bridgeman Downs, West End, McDougall, Dakabin, Chermside (two residences), Caboolture, Brighton and Teneriffe.
Police seized drugs, computers, tablets, steroids in various forms and drug equipment.
Nineteen people have been charged including:
- A 27-year-old Jindalee man charged with six counts of possess restricted drugs and three counts of possess dangerous drugs,
- A 25-year-old Chermside man charged with one count of possess dangerous drug and possess controlled substance,
- A 27-year-old Mt Gravatt man charged with two counts of possess dangerous drug and one count each of possess restricted substance and possess category R weapon,
- A 26-year-old Kirra man charged with two counts of possess dangerous drug,
- A 24-year-old Chermside West man charged with possess dangerous drug and possess restricted drug and
- A 31-year-old West End man charged with four counts of possess dangerous drug.
Detective Inspector Philip Stevens of Taskforce Maxima said the operation seized over $50,000 worth of steroids, drugs and prescription medication including teremifene, which steroid users take to reduce side effects like breast development.
"To us the concern with the importation of steroids is the clear link with other associated criminal activities," Detective Inspector Stevens said.
"We know that today's OMCGs are very much involved with performance and image enhancing drugs.
"We also know of the violent side effects that can result from taking these drugs."
Australian Border Force (ABF) Regional Commander QLD Terry Price said an initial detection at the border had allowed the operation to proceed.
"ABF officers detected approximately 250 grams of steroid powders at the border, which individuals had attempted to illegally import through the post into Brisbane," Regional Commander Price said.
"As a result of this detection, our officers referred the information from their investigation to Taskforce Maxima.
"Once again we see how a detection at the border can lead to further alleged offences within the Australian community.
"We are committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners post border to relentlessly target this sort of criminal activity."