Two men and a woman have been charged for their alleged involvement in the supply of prohibited drugs on the dark web in Lake Macquarie.
Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad established Strike Force Alaine to investigate the online supply of prohibited drugs and yesterday afternoon executed two search warrants at Swansea and a third at a storage facility at Caves Beach.
Officers from the Lake Macquarie Police District and the Northern Region Operation Support Group supported the operation where a 47-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman were arrested at a home on Lakeside Drive at Swansea.
A 30-year-old man was arrested at a home on George Street.
During subsequent searches police also located and seized more than 100 litres of THC-based chemicals, 15kg of lollipops believed to be laced with a prohibited drug, electronic devices, and other items relevant to investigations which will all undergo forensic examination.
The older man and the woman were bail refused to appear in court today and each charged with three counts of knowing supply psychoactive substance for human consumption, eight counts of supply prohibited drug more than indictable amount, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime, knowingly or recklessly direct criminal group assist crime, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
The younger man was charged with three counts of knowingly supply psychoactive substance for human consumption, eight counts of supply prohibited drug more than indictable amount, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity. He was granted conditional bail to appear at court next week.
Police will allege in court that all three were involved in the supply and distribution of prohibited drugs on the dark web, including E-cigarettes which contained synthetic cannabinoids or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Gordon Arbinja, said during the investigation they identified more than $1.6 million in cryptocurrency which was derived from the sale of the drugs on the dark web.
“These arrests should serve as a warning to those using the internet to conceal criminal activity: your anonymity is not guaranteed, and you aren’t outside the reach of law enforcement,” Det A/Supt Arbinja said.