Ice house exposed
POLICE claim they have arrested at least five of the top players in the Fraser Coast's meth trade.
It follows dramatic raids at a Hervey Bay resort and a Booral home which police will allege was at the centre of the business.
Alleged kingpins Daryl Hall 31, and Ed Westphal, 42 were arrested inside their holiday units at Mantra Resort at the Urangan marina at the weekend.
Inside the adjoining units, police allegedly discovered amphetamine, associated paraphernalia, a shotgun, handgun and ammunition.
They were charged with drug trafficking and related offences and remanded in custody following brief court appearances earlier this week.
Simultaneous raids at a home on Bingham Rd, Booral, which police will allege was central to the operation, allegedly uncovered more amphetamine, cannabis and associated drug paraphernalia.
There, Troy Nielson, 39 was arrested and charged with drug trafficking as well as 14 counts of supplying a dangerous drug.
He has also since appeared in court and been remanded in custody.
Two other residents were also arrested at the address and will face court on July 5. They are a 40-year-old woman charged with eight counts of supplying a dangerous drug and a 22-year-old woman charged with three counts of supplying a dangerous drug and one of supplying a weapon.
The raids were part of an ongoing police operation code-named Papa Berry.
Hervey Police Detective Sergeant Mick Polit said further arrests were imminent.
He claimed police were confident the operation had disrupted the most significant meth supply chain in the Hervey and Maryborough areas.
He said police would allege those charged were sourcing drugs from outside the region but were in control of local supply.
It will also be alleged they had dozens of regular customers making purchases of ice which they would on-sell by the ounce.
The sales allegedly took place from the Bingham Rd address and at various rented hotel apartments across Hervey Bay.
Operation Papa Berry was one of several targeting the supply of ice in this region.
Just days after the weekend raids, police allegedly caught a man fleeing on a motorbike armed with a loaded gun and drugs.
Det Sgt Polit said while the arrest was not linked to the Operation Berry arrests, it was concerning police had made two drug-linked weapons arrests in a week.
"In general people dealing in drugs arm themselves because it is the nature of the trade" Det Sgt Polit said.
"People are always stealing from them...there is a low level of trust between dealers.
"It's concerning going into these situations where people have access to firearms".
Det Sgt Polit warned his team remained committed to weeding the area of dealers and said one of the greatest weapons in war on the ice trade was tip-offs.
"In this case and all cases a great amount of help in the fight against drugs is the public and we thank them for that," he said
"We are as a CIB, dedicated to investigating these crimes.
"Sometimes the nature of this surveillance can make people believe nothing is happening but we are always on the lookout and could strike at any time."