'On Demand' Drug Dealers Selling Ice Like Food Delivery Service, Police Allege
Police have compared a Melbourne drug ring to food delivery services, offering 'ice' on demand to traffickers across Victoria.
On Monday, the state's Drug Taskforce executed 20 search warrants in suburbs across Melbourne, during which 10 men -- aged between 20 and 28 -- were arrested, in suburbs including Bundoora, Richmond, Collingwood, Sunshine, Maribyrnong, Newport, Ascot Vale, Lalor and Keysborough.
Police say they seized about four kilograms of the drug ice, 2.5kg of heroin, traffickable amounts of cocaine and MDMA, a hydroponic set-up with 100 cannabis plants and two pill presses.
Weapons including 14 handguns, an SKS assault rifle, ammunition, and two samurai swords were also allegedly found, alongside a "significant quantity" of cash.
Police allege the group was distributing drugs, predominantly ICE, via a courier system similar to popular food delivery services -- with traffickers allowing sellers on the next level down on the ladder to order product on demand.
“This is really a next generation, highly entrepreneurial group of drug traffickers who operated an incredibly mobile business,” Detective Superintendent Deb Robertson said in a statement.
“All of those arrested are aged under 30 and the majority of them had not had any previous contact with police until this operation."
It is believed the syndicate was supplying to up to 200 other traffickers.
“The fact that we have also seized a number of weapons, including firearms, as part of this operation is also concerning and really highlights the damage these traffickers do in our communities," Robertson said.
All 10 men have been charged with trafficking a large commercial quantity of drugs, with several also charged with firearm-related offences.
They were due to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.