Former Gold Coast Titans star and current assistant coach Michael Gordon has been stood down by the club after he was charged with alleged drug offences.
The 37-year-old was arrested at his Casuarina home on Saturday and taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he was charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug and two counts of possess prohibited drug.
The NRL veteran is among seven people who have been charged following a six-month investigation into the supply of MDMA and cocaine on the NSW Far North Coast and south-east Queensland.
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The operation, dubbed Strike Force Caved, began in May this year and involved detectives from the Tweed and Byron Police District Proactive Crime Team.
As part of the operation, five homes were raided yesterday at Casuarina and Terranora in NSW, and Robina, Burleigh Waters and Miami on the Gold Coast.
During the searches, police said investigators seized cocaine, MDMA, steroids, more than $60,000 cash, mobile phones and drug paraphernalia.
The Titans confirmed in a statement on Sunday morning that Gordon has been stood down, pending an investigation.
“The Gold Coast Titans have been made aware that Michael Gordon has been charged by police,” the statement said.
“Michael has been working on a contract basis, providing specialist coaching services to the Club over the past season.
“He will not be providing services to the club until further notice.
“The Club will make no further comment as the issue is now with police.”
Also arrested yesterday was a 21-year-old man who was taken into custody at Burleigh Waters and a 31-year-old man who was arrested at Miami. Strike force detectives will travel to Queensland tomorrow where they will apply to extradite the pair back to NSW.
A 22-year-old man was arrested at a Casuarina home and charged with 20 offences including supply prohibited drug, supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis and participate in a criminal group contribute criminal activity.
While a 21-year-old man was arrested during the day near Casuarina and charged with supply prohibited drug, deal with the proceeds of crime and participate in a criminal group contribute criminal activity.
A 20-year-old man was also arrested at a Terranora home and charged with supply prohibited drug and possess prohibited drug.
Tweed/Byron Police District Crime Manager Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen said the arrests come at a crucial time, when thousands of school leavers arrive in the area for end of school celebrations.
“Byron Bay is one of the busiest places on the east coast of Australia right now, with thousands of schoolies expected to fill coastal towns during the coming weeks,” Det Ch Insp Cullen said.
“These drugs were bound for our streets, and these arrests will have significantly disrupted the supply chain into the schoolies areas.
“Police will allege in court this syndicate was operating across the border, and we are extremely pleased to be able to put these people before the courts,” Det Ch Insp Cullen said.
Investigations under Strike Force Caved are ongoing, with further arrests expected.