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Alleged drug lord rules from jail

A MAN believed to be behind a Bundaberg drug syndicate has been accused of allegedly running the operation from behind bars.

Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Sergeant Ben Fadian said the 58-year-old Avondale man had been remanded in custody following a raid on his home last year, which allegedly revealed a haul of marijuana, methylamphetamine and cash.

"Since that time, we will allege he was continuing to operate and control the drug syndicate from within jail," he said.

The accused drug kingpin was formally charged at the Maryborough Correctional Centre on Wednesday, with the new charges of trafficking marijuana and methylamphetamine.

Det Sgt Fadian said the charges resulted from a series of other raids carried out in the city last month, which were part of the seven-month police sting, Operation Juliet Billet, targeting marijuana and methylamphetamine.

A total of 22 people have been charged with 83 offences since the police operation was launched.

Det Sgt Fadian said police believed the alleged syndicate, worth "hundreds of thousands of dollars", had been operating in Bundaberg for the past two years.

"We're talking kilo quantities of marijuana and ounce quantities of methylamphetamine, which is quite a substantial operation," he said.

The detective said the alleged drug ring was centred around Bundaberg, but also in surrounding areas including Avondale, Gin Gin and Buxton.

"It may have links with other communities in regional Queensland," he said.

Det Sgt Fadian said Wednesday's charges against the alleged syndicate mastermind had curtailed its operations.

"Our investigations are ongoing into the syndicate, its networks and associates," he said.

"We expect to lay further charges."

Det Sgt Fadian said the result of the drug operation was part of Bundaberg Police's ongoing commitment to target drug trafficking and supply within the region.

The alleged drug trafficker will appear in Bundaberg Magistrates Court on April 23.

Topics:  drugs, jail, maryborough correctional centre, methylamphetamine



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