POLICE seized $700,000 worth of illicit drugs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash when they swarmed 16 local premises during a mass operation this week.
Nine people have been charged with more than 60 offences after the Strike Force Fermi operation unearthed 38 kilograms of cannabis, 415 grams of amphetamines, 85 enhanced cannabis plants, $174,000 in cash, ecstasy pills, drug supply equipment, guns and ammunition and stolen property during the raids across Griffith, Collina and Bilbul.
Five people were refused bail by police and faced Griffith Local Court yesterday morning.
On Wednesday, 106 specialist police officers from Griffith, Deniliquin, Wagga, Cootamundra and Queanbeyan – and four drug detection dogs from Sydney – converged to simultaneously strike 16 premises across the city.
Two stores – including one at Griffith Central and one at Griffith East shops – were raided, as well as a number of residential homes and rural holdings.
While investigations into the crime ring have been ongoing since March, the arrest phase kicked off on Wednesday morning with police officers working well into the night and throughout Thursday searching premises, compiling evidence and executing further warrants.
Griffith Police Commander Michael Rowan commended his team on their triumphant result but said investigations would be ongoing.
Superintendent Rowan said the operation was made possible largely due to significant Vikings funding.
“The excellent result was due to the dedication of police in the Griffith local area command (LAC) – they did a great job,” Superintendent Rowan said.
“Griffith police are not naive to know that there are activities occurring elsewhere in the LAC and we would encourage anyone with information regarding the supply of prohibited drugs to contact police.
“These sorts of operations clearly identify that police at Griffith will follow up that information, which can lead to actions similar to this occurring.”
Griffith man Giuseppe Nardi, 48, was refused bail after he was charged with 23 offences, including participate in criminal group, supply commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and ongoing supply of prohibited drugs.
Joe Scarfo, 31, and Robert Nunn, 42, were also refused bail and faced 17 charges between them.
Kristie Nardi, 36, was granted bail after she was charged with five offences including participate in criminal group, supply prohibited drug and recruit child to carry out criminal activity.
Tarryn Burke, 59, from Hay, was charged with three offences and Fransceso Scarfo, 57, from Griffith, was charged with four offences but both were granted bail.
Three people were granted strict bail conditions to appear at Griffith Local Court on Wednesday, November 13, including:
An 18-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man charged with three offences including participate in criminal group and supply prohibited drug;
A 19-year-old man charged with three offences including supply prohibited drug and possess ammunition.