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Dozens face court after police operation targeting trafficking

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Police have laid 25 drug trafficking charges following an 18-month operation on the Sunshine Coast.

Operation Victor Ignite, which targeted high-end drug trafficking and organised crime syndicates, netted a total of 40 people on drug and property offences, including two teenagers.

As well as the 25 trafficking charges, police laid 167 drug and property charges as a result of the operation, which ended last Thursday.

Twenty-four search warrants were executed on homes and businesses across the Sunshine Coast and one in Brisbane, where police seized drugs including cocaine, MDMA, ketamine and cannabis.

Police also located and seized four high-end vehicles, a $30,000 boat and several firearms including a loaded semi-automatic handgun.

A large, sophisticated hydroponic cannabis grow house was also found during a search of a property in Kunda Park.

Detective Acting Inspector Craig Mansfield, speaking at a press conference, said some of those arrested were connected with motorcycle gangs.

“There are people who have loose links to some of our OMCG groups but not particular OMCG members were targeted in this investigation but having said that, there are some close ties with some of these people,” he said.

Det Insp Mansfield said there were “six degrees of separation” in the drug world and there was established communication between drug networks in South-East Queensland.

A hydroponic cannabis grow room was found during Operation Victor Ignite. Photo: QPS

About 100 police officers were involved in the concluding phase of the operation, which also involved the Crime and Intelligence Command and Taskforce Maxima.

Det Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Duhig said the operation sent a clear message that drugs were not welcome on the streets of the Sunshine Coast.

About 100 police officers were involved in the concluding phase of the operation, which also involved the Crime and Intelligence Command and Taskforce Maxima.

“I thank the officers involved for their protracted investigation work and their tireless efforts to stop the supply of illicit drugs to our community,” Det Sgt Duhig said.

“Though this concludes Operation Victor Ignite, police continue to investigate drug trafficking on the Sunshine Coast and I encourage anyone with information that may assist to contact police.”

Those arrested include:

  • Two Meridan Plains men aged 48 and 20 have been charged with a raft of offences, including drug trafficking, and are due to appear in court on August 2.
  • A 23-year-old Meridan Plains man being charged with trafficking and other offences is due to appear in the same court on July 4.
  • A 17-year-old Birtinya boy charged with possessing and supplying dangerous drugs and other offences is due to appear in the Maroochydore Childrens Court on May 29.
  • An 18-year-old Birtinya man being charged with four offences, including trafficking and will is next due in reappear in court on May 27.

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