HOTSPOTS: The towns fuelling the Queensland meth market
A 17-MONTH drug operation has dismantled a major ice network spanning across regional Queensland, leading to more than 1000 drug-related charges laid against dozens of people.
Detectives raided 56 properties across Chinchilla, Dalby and Tara over two days this week, a culmination of their investigations since Operation Quebec Oxygen launched in February 2018
Police arrested 34 people in relation to 1049 charges, including possession and supply of dangerous drugs, possessing the proceeds of a crime, and unlawful possession of a weapon.
The size of the alleged drug empire was revealed when officers swooped in on 36 properties in Chinchilla, five in Tara, 12 in Dalby and three in Nandara - seizing 13g of ice, 15 marijuana plants, four firearms, 177g marijuana, and $15,000 of cash.
A 32-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, both of Chinchilla were charged with 407 offences on July 8 and will be held in custody until October.
Acting Detective Inspector Teena Rolls said dozens of people were allegedly fuelling methamphetamine habits across southwest Queensland.
"I'd consider that they are supplying a market," she said.
"From the quantities we have actually seized it appears to be personal use. These offenders are allegedly creating a market in these communities for personal use."
Det Insp Rolls praised the work of detectives and the State Crime Command's Rural Major Organised Crime Squad for putting a dent in the regional drug network.
"It's a great result but the fight will continue," she said.
"We will continue to target these offenders in these communities and any community that they operate in."
Det Insp Rolls described the community's roles in tackling drug operations as "vital", and said the success of Operation Quebec Oxygen was due to anonymous tips offs.
"We can't act alone," she said.
"It's a community problem, and it's up to the community.
"They're the ones with the eyes out there, they're the ones that know the local people, they know what's going on, they hear rumours, they know information.
"That's the information that we want."
"We will continue to disrupt these networks and we ask that if anyone has information, they could call crime stoppers or call their local police station and have a conversation.
"Ice destroys families and this destroys communities."