A 31-year-old Darwin man will face court today (25 September 2020) after being arrested as part of a joint investigation into a nationwide criminal network allegedly using the postal system to traffic illicit drugs.
The Northern Territory Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (NT JOCTF), comprising the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Border Force (ABF), Northern Territory Police (NTPOL), the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Department of Home Affairs (DHA), began the investigation into the network after detecting a number of drug importations destined for Darwin.
Between Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 September 2020, the NT JOCTF made three seizures of domestic parcels containing illicit drugs. These parcels had been sent to an address in Darwin from interstate.
In total, the parcels included 46kgs of cannabis buds in vacuum packed bags.
On Wednesday (23 September 2020), police arrested a 31-year-old man after he allegedly collected three parcels from a Darwin address.
Following the arrest, NT JOCTF investigators executed a search warrant at the man’s residence in Bakewell, NT, with the assistance of ABF handlers and detection dogs where they seized a small amount of methamphetamine, vials of steroids, drug utensils, and $13,200 in cash.
The man was refused bail and is scheduled to face the Darwin Local Court via video link today (25 September 2020) on the following charges:
- Supplying schedule 2 dangerous drugs in commercial quantity pursuant to section 5.2a of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT)
- Possessing schedule 2 dangerous drugs in commercial quantity pursuant to section 9.2d of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT)
- Possessing schedule 1 dangerous drug in a public place pursuant to section 7D Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT)
- Possessing schedule 1 dangerous drug pursuant to section 7D Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT)
- Possessing schedule 2 dangerous drug in trafficable quantity pursuant to 9.2A Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT)
- Possessing tainted property pursuant to section 8 Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT)
- Possessing drug administration implement pursuant to section 13 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1990 (NT)
The maximum penalty for these offences ranges from 14 years imprisonment to two years imprisonment.
AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Stephen Jay said the outcome shows that authorities are continuing to pursue those engaged in the illegal drug trade, despite border restrictions.
“Criminals have adapted to the current climate with border restrictions impacting the drug trade,” Detective Acting Superintendent Jay said.
“Organised crime are looking for ways to circumnavigate COVID-19 travel restrictions, and we have stayed a step ahead to protect the NT community. The AFP and our partners will not allow criminal networks to target Territorians and profit from the drug trade in our community.”
NT Police Detective Superintendent Kerry Hoskins said, “We will continue to work with the Community and our partner agencies to detect and disrupt criminal networks from bringing drugs into the Northern Territory”.