A MAJOR joint investigation between Queensland Police and Corrective Services has led to associates of the Mongols and Bandidos bikie gangs being charged with smuggling dangerous drugs and weapons into Queensland prisons.
Over the past three months, the investigation – code named Operation Mike Clyde – has focused on the alleged criminal activities of the Mongols and Bandidos criminal motorcycle gangs.
It will be alleged inmates associated with these criminal gangs in both the Arthur Gorrie and Maryborough Correctional Centres were coordinating drug trafficking networks within and outside the centres.
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Overnight and this morning police raided nine properties on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Biloela, Poona and the Maryborough Correctional Centre.
During the raids, high quality methylamphetamine was seized, along with cannabis, morphine buprenorphine, mobile phones and SIM cards allegedly intended for introduction into the correctional facilities.
In total, police said 19 people have been charged with 51 offences. Of these, seven are inmates of Queensland Correctional facilities.
Ten people have been charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug, of which five are inmates.
A 54-year-old male inmate of Maryborough Correctional Centre was arrested and charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug.
Seven members of his alleged criminal network have also been charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug, supply dangerous drug and possess dangerous drug.
A 27-year-old associate of the Bandidos who was incarcerated at the Maryborough Correctional Centre has also been charged, as has a 69-year-old Gold Coast man accused of facilitating the supply of dangerous drugs to a correctional centre.
During the course of the investigation, a 25-year-old man, an associate of the Mongols CMG incarcerated at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, was charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug, supply dangerous drug and supplying firearms.
QCS also allegedly located Mongol paraphernalia, a ‘homemade’ Mongols banner and a container marked “MFFM – Mongols Forever, Forever Mongols and SYLM – Support Your Local Mongols” within his cell.
It will also be alleged the man tried to purchase firearms and profit from their resale to other offenders outside the corrections system.
Police said there was no suggestion members of Queensland Corrections were party to or helped facilitate the actions of the drug trafficking networks.
Detective Inspector Terry Lawrence said the pervasive influence of criminal motorcycle gangs is again exposed.
“This coordinated and complementary approach by the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Corrective Services has thwarted the efforts of these Mongols and Bandidos to introduce drugs into the prison system and threaten the security and safety of those within correctional centres,” he said.
Taskforce Maxima Commander Detective Superintendent Niland said drugs within prisons are a highly sought after commodity.
“The seriousness of this activity illustrates the lengths criminal motorcycle gangs will go to in their criminality,” he said.
“These criminal gangs show time and time again they have no regard for the law.
“In targeting criminal motorcycle gangs, we identified associates of the Mongols and Bandidos criminal motorcycle gangs engaging in criminal activity and in co-operation with Queensland Corrective Services we have arrested and charged the ring leaders and destroyed these networks’.