29 September 2022

Police raids over cocaine, MDMA supply in Batemans Bay result in four arrests in NSW, ACT

| Albert McKnight
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A man is arrested by police officers in Canberra on Wednesday as part of Strike Force Wirrinda. Photo: NSW Police/AFP.

Four men, including an alleged bikie, have been arrested after a strike force investigating the supply of cocaine and MDMA in the Batemans Bay area raided homes on the NSW South Coast and in the ACT.

The raids came after officers intercepted a package sent from Batemans Bay to Queensland in August, which allegedly contained white powder, believed to be cocaine, hidden in a children’s toy.

On 6 September, police stopped a vehicle on the Federal Highway at Wollogorang and allegedly seized more than 360 grams of MDMA which they claim was bound for distribution on the South Coast.

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Then on Wednesday (28 September), NSW Police raided four homes in the Batemans Bay area, while ACT Policing and the Australian Federal Police raided locations in Braddon and Mitchell in the ACT.

While searching the homes, police allegedly found seven firearms, gel blasters, a replica handgun, ammunition, two poker machines, cannabis, about a kilo of tobacco, steroids and a crystalised substance believed to be MDMA, as well as $1600 in cash.

Police also allegedly seized a hydraulic pill press, gunpowder and prohibited laser pointer.

Tyler McKenna, who is allegedly a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang, was arrested at a home in Braddon, extradited to NSW and handed four charges including knowingly/recklessly directing a criminal group as well as supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

The 26-year-old appeared in Queanbeyan Local Court on Thursday (29 September), where he made no application for bail and it was formally refused. He returns to court on 25 November.

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Taren Ronald Hayles was arrested at the Batemans Bay Police station and appeared in the town’s local court on Thursday.

He was charged with 10 offences, including manufacturing a prohibited drug, supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.

The 23-year-old was granted bail with conditions including he live at Mount Warrigal, not contact Mr McKenna, not enter the Eurobodalla and his case was adjourned to 28 November.

A man is arrested as part of Strike Force Wirrinda on Wednesday. Photo: NSW Police/AFP.

Two other men – one 24 and one 45, were arrested at different locations in north Batemans Bay and were granted conditional bail to appear before Batemans Bay Local Court on 24 October.

The younger man’s charges include supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis and participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity, while the older man’s charges include possessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm and possessing a gaming machine that is not approved.

The arrests came as a result of Strike Force Wirrinda, which was launched in October 2021 to tackle the supply of drugs in the coastal region.

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