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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Drug ring smashed say police
    A drug manufacturing ring with links from Byron Bay to Cairns has allegedly been discovered on the New South Wales North Coast.

    Police searched six properties at Murwillumbah, Bangalow and Byron Bay early this morning, finding clandestine labs for making the drug ecstasy on two of them.

    Two houses in Byron Bay were also searched for documents which police say connect the region to a cocaine distribution ring in Cairns.

    Three arrests have been made so far and police say they expect more by the end of the day.

    Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham says the raids exposed links with a cocaine ring in far north Queensland.

    "Hopefully we have broken the back of an MDMA manufacturing syndicate here in Byron Bay," he said.

    "That should alleviate some of the problem in relation to MDMA supply in and around the Byron Bay area.

    "Part of this syndicate was involved in large-scale supply of cocaine in the Cairns area, and what we found this morning was quite a lot of documents and other information to assist the Queensland investigation into that cocaine supply."

    January 28 2010


  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Two arrested and police uncover first ever clan lab used in manufacture of safrole oil precursor for MDMA

    Two men have been arrested today following a joint interagency operation at Byron Bay after police uncovered the first ever clandestine laboratory manufacturing safrole oil, used in the production of MDMA.

    Strike Force Barsden comprises investigators from the State Crime Command’s Drug Squad, Tweed/Byron Local Area Command, and Queensland Police.

    The Strike Force was established in June 2009 to investigate the supply of cocaine, as well as the manufacture of safrole oil, which can be used as a precursor in the production of MDMA.

    Two men have been arrested by police today including a 23-year-old man at Bangalow and a 24-year-old man at Mullumbimby. Both men were taken to Byron Bay Police Station.

    The 24-year-old was charged with possess tablet press, conspiracy to manufacture prohibited drug, and two counts of posses prohibited drug. He was refused bail to appear at Byron Bay Local Court on 29 January, 2010.

    The 23-year-old man was charged with three counts of possess prohibited drug, possess pill press, and cultivate prohibited plant. He was granted conditional bail to appear in court at a later date.

    Six search warrants were executed by police at locations including two premises on Bangalow Road at Byron Bay, Hakea Court at Mullumbimby, Pacific Highway at Bangalow, Byrrell Creek Road at Byrrell Creek, and Centennial Court at Byron Bay.

    A clandestine laboratory was discovered by police at Bangalow. Investigations are ongoing and police remain at the scene. Evidence of manufacture was also uncovered at Byrrell Creek.

    During the search warrants police located and seized a total of two pill presses, ecstasy tablets, LSD, cannabis, cocaine, steroids, precursors used in the manufacture of MDMA, as well as $4,000 cash.

    Drug Squad Commander, Superintendent Nick Bingham, continues to warn the public about the dangers of illicit drug use.

    Drug use is dangerous. It is very difficult to know what you are consuming, and the effects can be fatal,” Det/Supt Nick Bingham said.

    Thursday, 28 Jan 2010 04:19pm

  2. Terrapinzflyer
    Mullum man in custody over MDMA\

    MCLEODS SHOOT resident Luke Adams Witten did not apply for bail during his brief appearance in Byron Bay Local Court yesterday.

    He was charged with the manufacture of the drug ecstasy (MDMA) and possession of a tablet press to produce MDMA pills.

    Witten, 24, was charged with three drug offences following his arrest on January 28 in a series of drug raids as part of Strike Force Barsden at Mullumbimby, Bangalow, Byron Bay and Byrrill Creek, near Uki, in what police described as being the most sophisticated ecstasy manufacturing operation in Australia.

    Witten is charged with conspiracy to manufacture a prohibited drug between July 23 and December 29 last year at Byron Bay; with possession of two Chinese single punch tablet presses capable of producing MDMA; and possession of 100 grams of cannabis leaf and seeds.

    Witten, with his long hair drawn back in a pigtail and wearing long black shorts and a grey T-shirt, sat quietly in the dock while his lawyer Daisy Weller said her client would not be making an application for bail until next month.

    He was described in police documents as an unemployed, single man who had lived in the Byron Bay area for eight years, and with no prior criminal history.

    Magistrate Michael Dakin adjourned Witten’s matter to Lismore Local Court on February 16.

    Police expect more arrests in relation to the drug ring, with a second man arrested on Thursday, aged 24 from Bangalow, also charged with cultivation of a prohibited plant.

    He was granted conditional bail to appear at Mullumbimby Local Court on February 11.

    During a media briefing following the arrest of the two men, police stated two tablet presses seized from a Byron Bay storage shed were capable of producing 6000 pills an hour.

    It was also revealed Australian Customs alerted police to the arrival of the machines into Australia with the raids taking place following a seven month multi-agency investigation into cocaine supply and safrole oil manufacture.

    During the raids police also seized ecstasy pills, LSD, cannabis, cocaine, steroids, and safrole oil (the precursor to MDMA).

    Strike Force Barsden was formed in June last year with the assistance of the Australian Crime Commission and includes officers from the State Crime Command’s Drug Squad and the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command.

    Ross Irby | 30th January 2010

    COMMENT I think this is related to the above case- seems like theres been a lot of activity on the mdma/ecstasy supply/production in Australia lately...
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