A 14 month investigation into an alleged drug syndicate in Wellington has been described by NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller as one of the biggest operations he's seen in a country area.
On Wednesday, police executed search warrants at 16 properties in Wellington and Montefiores.
It came after more than a year of investigations into a large-scale drug supply network operating from the region.
In February 2019, Western Region detectives established Strike Force Pinnacle. Early enquiries revealed the syndicate was allegedly sourcing methylamphetamine, commonly known as ice, in addition to MDMA and heroin from Sydney and distributing them to regional towns.
Commissioner Fuller said 10 local police had been working on the investigations across the 14 months.
There were 200 involved on Wednesday from the Western Region, the Dog Unit, Public Order and Riot Squad, PolAir, Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and the NSW Crime Commission.
"For country NSW, this is one of the biggest operations I've seen," Commissioner Fuller said.
Officers located ice, MDMA, heroin, buprenorphine, cannabis, more than $450,000 cash, 1.4 kilograms of gold with a value of $119,000, three firearms, three electronic stun devices, ammunition, railway detonators, two safes and a poker machine.
Twelve people were arrested by the detectives.
It includes a 34-year-old man who was charged with 19 offences. Police will allege he was the senior member of a criminal syndicate and facilitated the the supply of a commercial quantity of ice to numerous regional communities.
Six associated people were also arrested in Sydney.
A 39-year-old man was charged with 34 offences and police will allege he lead the Sydney-based criminal syndicate which facilitated the supply of prohibited drugs to distributors in Wellington.
Commissioner Fuller acknowledged the impact the supply of prohibited drugs could have on a town like Wellington.
"We know that drugs can have a terrible impact on individuals but it can also decimate local communities. It's such an addictive, destructive drug so cutting off the head of the supply certainly helps," Commissioner Fuller said.
"It's a really important time for parents and guardians to reach out to those who are addicted. It's an opportunity to get the person you love off drugs."
Acting Assistance Commissioner Peter McKenna said inquiries into the syndicate were continuing and more arrests were expected.
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