Pubdate: Wed, 10 Dec 2008
Source: Albany Weekender (Australia)
Copyright: 2008 Fairfax Media
Author: Ken Matts


POLICE hope a massive drug bust last week will end the growing number of 
burglaries and violent assaults in Albany.

Thirteen locals were charged a total of 33 drug-related offences from 
possession to distribution after raids on 10 homes in Albany, Denmark and 

Six appeared in Albany Magistrates Court on Tuesday, with the others to be 
charged by summons for a later court appearance.

Detective Sergeant Paul Lydiate said police discovered there was a drug 
ring in Albany during the undercover Operation Handstand in April.

"Part of yesterday's process was to eliminate those people, which we have 
done," he said.

"This whole operation will be ongoing."

Police also found a new, potent, psychedelic drug, DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

The Organised Crime Squad from Perth was involved in the raids. Their 
chemists safely secured and dismantled the clandestine DMT laboratory found 
in an Albany home.

Det Sgt Lydiate said the second major drug bust in the region this year 
would have a massive impact in the community by stopping violent offences 
linked with drugs.

"We've found that drug use also affects burglaries, domestic violence and 
assaults, so by taking drugs off the streets, hopefully people can have a 
better lifestyle," Det Sgt Lydiate said.

"We had a stage in Albany earlier this year where we had a spate of 
violence, and there is a direct link to the amphetamine use and violence on 
the streets and domestic violence at home."

In July, Williams police seized a large quantity of methamphetamines after 
they stopped a 30-year-old Albany man for a routine traffic check.

They also found cannabis and ammunition.

Last week's arrests culminated in a series of search warrants being 
executed, with a house in Stanley Street, Mt Melville, being raided last 

Police allegedly found a drug laboratory, amphetamines, ecstacy, cannabis, 
DMT, smoking implements, firearms and ammunition and $4,400 in cash.

Five people were charged with conspiracy to possess amphetamines with 
intent to sell or supply, and five with possessing amphetamine with intent 
to sell or supply.

Det Sgt Lydiate said police investigations would be ongoing.

Last week's bust was only one stage of the operation targetting drug 
distribution in the Great Southern.

"We have identified other people and our enquiries will be continuing and 
other arrests will be made," he said.

This followed another drug bust in Denmark where police discovered the 
psychedelic drug, DMT.

The operation which resulted in the arrest of three men involved police 
from Albany, Denmark and Walpole.

They allegedly seized almost two grams of the drug during raids on two 
properties in Walpole and Denmark.

Police said the investigation was sparked after two people were treated at 
Denmark Hospital for a suspected overdose of DMT.

A 25-year-old Walpole man was charged with supplying a prohibited drug 
(DMT) and possession of DMT and cannabis.

A 22-year-old Denmark man was charged with possession of DMT and possession 
of a smoking implement, and another Denmark man, 23, was charged with 
possessing cannabis and a smoking implement.

It is believed police stopped more than 900 'hits' from going on sale on 
the streets.

DMT is a naturally-occurring tryptamine and potent psychedelic drug found 
not only in many native plants but also in trace amounts in the human body.

One source is an acacia called maidens wattle.

The drug is created by cooking a plant extract with chemicals.

"This is only the second one I have heard of," Det Sgt Lydiate said.

"Because it's new, we haven't had much of a background on it.

"Obviously it's a real concern. I'm sure most people aren't aware of the 
dangers it imposes to their health."
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