Three men will face court following the discovery of the largest illegal controlled and prescription drug distribution network ever identified in the ACT and Victoria.
In August 2023 a joint investigation with Victoria Police was commenced to identify and disrupt a criminal group allegedly distributing significant quantities of controlled and prescription drugs including Xanax, Valium, anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, clenbuterol, THC gummies and psilocybin chocolates.
Police allege the three men were sourcing significant commercial quantities of these drugs and then operating a sophisticated marketing, sale and distribution network for individual buyers. The buyers were located across Australia and the group, operating online under the ‘OzPharmLabs’ name, allegedly distributed their products via the postal system.
Yesterday, simultaneous search warrants were executed in the ACT region and in Melbourne.
A 38-year-old man was arrested at a residence in O’Connor and a 27-year-old man was arrested at a home in Gordon. Both will face more than 20 charges including traffic in a commercial quantity of a controlled drug, supplying anabolic steroids and traffic in a controlled drug other than cannabis. The 38-year-old has also been charged with contravening a 3LA order and weapon possession.
A 39-year-old Googong man was arrested by NSW Police and is expected to be extradited to the ACT to face 40 charges including participating in a criminal group, trafficking in a commercial quantity of a controlled drug, dealing in the proceeds of crime to a value greater than $1,000,000, obtaining financial advantage by deception, dealing in identification information for the purpose of committing an indictable Commonwealth offence, supplying anabolic steroids, trafficking in a controlled drug other than cannabis, contravening a section 3LA order and supplying declared substances
As part of yesterday’s activity, police seized unprecedented quantities of controlled drugs as well as approximately $200,000 in cash, a house, five vehicles, three motorcycles and designer goods. Multiple bank accounts were also restrained.
Police expect to lay additional charges against all three men once the drug seizures are fully collated and forensic examination of digital items is concluded.
Detective Inspector Mark Steel said this cross-border group were likely responsible for a significant portion of the illegal prescription drug market in Australia.
“These three men were allegedly running a sophisticated, coordinated and deliberate illegal business with the sole goal of illicit profit,” said Detective Inspector Steel.
“ACT Policing and Victoria Police have coordinated their investigation and resolution activity and this should serve as a warning to anyone seeking to profit from illegal activities.
“If you are operating across borders you will face the combined efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies. We will arrest you, seize your assets and put you before courts to face significant criminal charges.”
Anyone who has information about the sale and distribution of illegal drugs in the ACT is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000