Grafton Court House
Grafton Court House Caitlan Charles

DRUG BUSTS: multiple raids stings ice ring

THREE simultaneous police raids in Maclean and Lismore have disrupted supply of the drug ice on the Lower Clarence.

Police raided two addresses in Wharf St, Maclean, on Monday between 10.30am and 11am, resulting in the arrest of two men, Lucas John Lavelle, 33 and Gregory Charles Purcell, 30.

A third man, Brendan Peter Mason, 34, was arrested after police raided an address in Lismore, also on Monday morning.

All three faced court in Grafton and Lismore yesterday, where bail was refused.

Police said they formed a Strike Force Acini in September last year to investigate the supply and distribution of methamphetamines on the Lower Clarence.

During the operation police mounted electronic and physical surveillance from the end of September to mid-February, to record transactions between the men and clients.

Police said the surveillance revealed the men supplied clients in Maclean, Yamba, Harwood and surrounding villages in the Clarence Valley.

At all three premises police allegedly found drugs, weapons and goods believed to be stolen.

Lavelle was charged with 52 counts of supply prohibited drug and Purcell was charged with 23 counts of supply prohibited drug. Mason was charged with 20 drug supply charges.

Lavelle's charges also included a break and enter, receiving stolen goods and dealing with the proceeds of crime charges.

Each of the accused has also been charged with a number of counts of the strictly indictable charge of supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis.

At the bail hearings for Lavelle and Purcell in Grafton yesterday Magistrate Karen Stafford said there were good reasons for refusing bail.

She said the police case was extremely strong with the likelihood of lengthy jail sentences for both men.

She also noted the men posed a risk to the community and there was a strong chance they could commit more offences.

Lavelle and Purcell will face court again in Grafton on May 8. Mason will appear again at Lismore on April 14.

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