Ex-Home and Away star among seven charged after raids
POLICE have charged seven men with a raft of offences after allegedly seizing cash and hundreds of grams of cocaine during home and business raids in northern New South Wales.
NSW Police said in a statement officers attached to the North Coast Region Enforcement Squad (RES) launched Strike Force Kelly and Tulipa last October to investigate the supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Bangalow area.
Former Home and Away star Putu Winchester-Stanton was among those arrested, The Daily Telegraph reported.
It's alleged "extensive inquiries" resulted in four search warrants being carried out at a Byron Bay business and at homes in Byron, Bangalow and Mullumbimby on April 22.
"During these warrants, police located and seized approximately 340g of cocaine, more than $25,000 cash and other proceeds of crime," the statement alleged.
Winchester-Stanton, 44, faced 10 charges including supply a commercial supply of a prohibited drug and knowingly direct the activities of a criminal group.
He made no application for bail when he appeared at Byron Bay Local Court today and bail was formally refused. He was remanded to July 5.
Three men, all aged 30, were arrested at a Bangalow property and one was charged with 17 offences, including supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis and supply indictable quantity prohibited drug.
The other two men were charged with supply indictable quantity prohibited drug.
Police also arrested a 32-year-old man at a Mullumbimby home and he was charged with 16 offences, including supply commercial quantity prohibited drug and participate in a criminal group.
Officers arrested a fifth man, 44, at a Mullumbimby home and he was charged with 10 offences, including supply commercial quantity prohibited drug and knowingly direct activities of criminal group.
A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with intend as instrument of crime money/property, possess prohibited drug and possess/attempt to prescribed restricted substance.
Northern Region operations manager Detective Acting Superintendent Greg Thomas APM said the arrests would "impact the availability of illicit drugs on the streets of Byron Bay".
"The Far North Coast is continually becoming increasingly popular with domestic tourists, and it is our job to ensure locals and visitors feel safe in our holiday towns," he said.
"These arrests continue to disrupt the supply chain of cocaine and other illicit substances to the Far North Coast community and we will continue to put those who wish to introduce harmful substances before the courts."
Investigations under Strike Force Kelly and Tulipa continue and anyone with information has been urged to phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Originally published as Ex-Home and Away star among seven charged after raids