Homes of drug-busting police squad raided by fellow cops
State Crime Command Drug Squad detectives have had their homes raided as part of a misconduct investigation into allegations they created a drug syndicate and manufactured drugs to entrap criminals.
The Daily Telegraph understands attempted prosecutions brought on by the NSW Drug Squad unraveled when police methodology was questioned.
NSW Police last night confirmed the launch of Strike Force Dominion to investigate the conduct of senior Drug Squad police.
"State Crime Command have referred a matter to the Professional Standards Command for further investigation," a NSW Police spokesman said in a statement.
"SF (StrikeForce) Dominion has been established by Professional Standards Command and remains an ongoing investigation.
"No further comment can be provided at this time."
The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has been involved in the investigation and the homes of two senior detectives in the Drug Squad were raided on Tuesday.
The Drug Squad conduct investigations into organised criminal networks involved in the supply, distribution and production of illegal drugs and weapons.
The Daily Telegraph understands that Instead of undercover operatives infiltrating a criminal network, the Drug Squad detectives face accusations of "encouraging" criminal behaviour by setting up a drug syndicate and actually manufacturing the drugs.
Going so far as to manufacture drugs is understood to be unprecedented in police operations.
There are now serious questions about whether this operation was legal, even if it was authorised.
Sources said the methodology of the detectives can be described as similar to "entrapment".
NSW Police would not comment about the use of entrapment in police investigations saying police methodology was not something that could be publicly discussed.
"You can't set it up and then say they are supplying drugs, when you're the one creating the drugs," one source said.
The conduct of the detectives is now the subject of internal police scrutiny.
The detectives stand accused of bungling the sting and overstepping the mark in their attempt to catch drug dealers to the point they facilitated a crime.
There is no suggestion the detectives were hoping to personally profit from the operation.
There are also allegations of embellishing or falsifying affidavits.
No charges have been laid.
There are a broad array of potential charges on the table including perverting the course of justice along with criminal charges.
NSW Police have not stated whether the operation that was described as entrapment was authorised and, if it was, who is responsible.
The secretive Law Enforcement Conduct Commission was set up in 2017 to oversee the Police Force and Crime Commission, replacing the Police Integrity Commission.
Its investigations are usually behind closed doors, with public hearings a rare occurrence.
The majority of the investigations it has concluded this year involved complaints about police strip searches.
Originally published as Homes of drug-busting police squad raided by fellow cops