A man has been charged in relation to a multi-million dollar smorgasbord of illegal drugs seized from an “industrial scale” clandestine laboratory in Sydney’s southwest.
A raid on a rural property in Calf Farm Road at Mt Hunter, west of Camden, on October 24 uncovered a main cache of drugs with an estimated street value of $5.2 million.
Among the 450 items seized were more than 21kg of MDMA powder used to manufacture ecstasy pills and 28 litres of GHB, plus 13.5kg of precursor chemicals.
A stash of material believed to be cocaine, steroids and methylamphetamine was also seized, along with ammunition and sophisticated laboratory equipment.
“This lab is significant. It is one of the largest we have seen,” Acting Commander Stuart Smith told a Sunday morning press briefing, describing the site as “filthy dirty … a grubby lab”.
Commander Smith said possible links to overdose incidents at a recent dance festival were being explored and that further arrests are anticipated.
Overdoses claimed a 23-year-old man and a woman, 19, at the so-called “hardstyle” Defqon.1 dance festival in September while another 11 people were treated in hospital for adverse reactions.
Some of those victims and others are known to have ingested triangle-shaped pills which could have originated in the laboratory, where a similarly shaped pill press was found.
Commander Smith alleged the man taken into custody and believed to be a “drug cook” had associations with motorcycle gangs.
“The lab was so large and its operation so sophisticated, we don’t think this individual acted alone,” he said.
“In terms of Defqon.1 itself, a number of the dealers that arrived there, including an individual that went to hospital, are also associated with outlaw motorcycle gangs.
“In particular, one of the dealers that arrived there that day had a very large quantity, 240 grams, of a prohibited drug, including a number of tablets, so we believe that there is a link.”
Commander Smith urged potential users of illicit drugs to consider how and where they are manufactured.
“There is no quality control in illicit substances and the community should be aware that there is no way of knowing what you are ingesting and how it will affect you,” he said.
“We will continue to dismantle and disrupt these criminal drug enterprises and stop this poison from hitting our streets.
“Those involved in the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs should know that the net is closing in on them.”
A 39-year-old man was charged with a raft of drugs offences and has been remanded in custody after he was refused bail. He will appear at Campbelltown Local Court on December 19.