October 24 2014

– Bikie drug traffickers used letters purporting to be from lawyers. (Pic digitally altered
Bikie drug traffickers used letters purporting to be from lawyers. (Pic digitally altered)
PRISON drug trafficking networks linked to the Bandidos and Mongols bikie gangs used fake letters purported to be from Brisbane lawyers to smuggle drugs into jails, police say.

Detectives who smashed the two networks allege ice, marijuana and the drug subutex were brought into Arthur Gorrie (Brisbane) and Maryborough correctional centres, with inmate bikie associates co-ordinating the networks in and outside of jails.

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Taskforce Maxima and Queensland Corrections officers raided homes and prison cells, with two convicted murderers and two bikie associates in jail among those charged with trafficking offences.

A Mongols associate, 25, an inmate in Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, is charged with drug trafficking and is accused of trying to buy 10 guns for $3000, which he planned to sell outside jail.

A Bandidos associate, 27, in Maryborough jail, is also charged with drug trafficking.

Police seized five mobile phones from inmates and allege both bikie associates had used phones to communicate with their networks.

Taskforce Maxima Commander Detective Superintendent Mick Niland said more arrests would be made. So far the operation had netted 19 people on 51 charges.

The police operation was launched in June, with five ounces of ice, two ounces of marijuana and more than 100 strips of subutex seized. Some drugs made it to prisoners.

Police puts a stop to alleged bikie drug ring
Police puts a stop to alleged bikie drug ring
Police allege the phones seized in prison were used “quite regularly”.

Detective Inspector Terry Lawrence said 10 people were charged with trafficking during the operation. Of the seven inmates charged, five are facing trafficking offences.

Insp Lawrence said the networks, which operated separately, used a number of ways to bring in the drugs.

“One of the means used to introduce the drugs to the prison was through mail, purporting to be legal mail, which was intercepted,” he said.

“By legislation legal correspondence can get checked by Queensland Corrective Services if they have a suspicion or belief there is something unlawful within it.

“They were purporting to be existing solicitors’ firms in Queensland and we’ve yet to have discussions and we intend to with those particular firms.”

Supt Niland said the operation showed how “serious, violent and ruthless” the crime gangs were.

Another $21,000 linked to the investigation was seized outside of the prison.

Police said the price of methamphetamines and marijuana could be four times higher than street prices in a jail, while a strip of subutex cut into four pieces would be worth $400.

Police declined to comment on whether drugs were brought into the jails through visits, and said there was no suggestion members of Queensland Corrections had been “party to or helped facilitate” the drug networks.

– Thomas Chamberlin


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