Police: Alarming drug culture among patrons

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WA Police say drug dealers have been caught with ecstasy and meth but also 25C-NBomE and a poisonous substance used by veterinarians to deworm livestock, both of which have been linked to fatal overdoses.

A POLICE operation focused on licensed premises has resulted in 40 separate search warrants across the metropolitan area including in Ashby and Kinross.

As a result Perth detectives have charged 56 people for allegedly selling ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis inside a number of licensed venues in Perth’s entertainment precincts.

Central metropolitan police district superintendent Kim Massam said officers were concerned by the overt dealing of illicit drugs where offenders operated without fear of reprimand.

“The operation uncovered an alarming drug culture among patrons,’’ he said.

“The risks associated with this culture are highlighted by chemical analysis of the seized drugs which found the purity of the ecstasy ranged from 8 per cent to 86 per cent, and about 40 per cent of the ecstasy contained highly addictive methylamphetamine.

Other chemicals included 25C-NBomE and a poisonous substance used by veterinarians to deworm livestock – both of which have been linked to fatal overdoses.

“This highlights the ongoing concern about illicit drugs – you never really know what you’re putting into your system and what effect that may have on your health.’’

Supt Massam said illegal drug use was known to exacerbate anti-social issues caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

“Meth can increase aggression, and alcohol impairs decision making ability, and the combination of meth and alcohol can be a recipe for disaster.

“We want these venues to be safe for all patrons and we encourage all community members, including those who work in the entertainment sector, to provide us with information about drug dealing in our community.”

Supt Massam said entertainment precincts were always a focal point for police, particularly over weekends when patronage increased.

“Patrons can expect to see bike and foot patrols, traffic police and specialist officers including narcotic drug detection dogs.

Plainclothes officers and detectives will also be patrolling inside these venues.’’

WA Police will investigate whether they can impose barring notices against the people charged as a result of the investigation.

Fifty-six people were charged with 154 offences –  40 of those accused were charged with supplying a prohibited drug and 14 were charged with supplying a trafficable amount of prohibited drugs.

He said the accused included men and women aged between 18 and 46-years-old, $240,000 assets were identified, which could be subject to confiscation proceedings and $70,000 cash was seized.

Drugs, with an estimated street value of $1.1 million, were seized – 5000 ecstasy tablets and MDMA capsules,  350g MDMA crystal, 322g methylamphetamine, 433g cocaine, 938g cannabis, 250mls GHB, small quantities of LSD and DMT, 60 vials containing steroids and a big quantity of prescription drugs.

Anyone with information regarding illicit drug dealing is encouraged to come forward by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.crimestopperswa.com.au where information is confidential and rewards are offered.