Alleged drug lab dismantled: Police block street

The chemical operations unit from Sydney examine the garage of a house in Tenterfield which is alleged to be a a clandestine laboratory.
The chemical operations unit from Sydney examine the garage of a house in Tenterfield which is alleged to be a a clandestine laboratory. Marc Stapelberg


THREE police vehicles and a fire truck blocked off MacKenzie Court in Tenterfield today as the NSW Police force's chemical operations unit arrived from Sydney to dismantle an alleged drug laboratory.

It was one of the hottest days of the year and the street was quiet as the police unit moved around the house in protective yellow suits and face masks.

The area had been shut down awaiting for the arrival of the unit.

Police allege the house was a clandestine drug laboratory and, as two members of the unit were inside, a third man prepared a table outside.

After some time they opened the garage door where items in the garage were photographed and taken out to the back area of the house.

An apparatus in the centre of the garage had a brown liquid in it and an attachment that ran perpendicular to it.

The apparatus was dismantled and also taken out the back.

The operation comes after a man and a woman were arrested after being pulled over at Mummulgum and subsequent simultaneous search warrants were executed on the state's Northern Rivers yesterday.

Strike Force Thermal was established by officers attached to Richmond Local Area Command to investigate the manufacture and supply of prohibited drugs in the Casino area.

Police allege to have located firearms, cash, drug equipment and chemicals believed to be used in the manufacture of drugs.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Cameron Lindsay told a media conference in Lismore the raids disrupted what was a large-scale commercial operation to manufacture and distribute ice, particularly in the Casino area.

The first raid took place at an "active clandestine lab" in suburban Tenterfield.

"One of the charges we laid last night was conspire to manufacture a large commercial amount of methyl amphetamine," Det Chief Insp Lindsay said.

"This is a clandestine laboratory setup to produce large amounts of ice, which we know is a destructive and evil drug in our community.

"We believe these arrests will have a significant impact on the availability of ice in this area."

Police believe the group of people allegedly behind the operation had been at it for a significant amount of time.

During the seven raids police also seized chemicals and equipment allegedly used in the manufacture of methyl amphetamine, and thousands of dollars in cash.

Topics:  drugs editors picks ice nsw police

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