This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and Victoria Police.
Editor's Note: Stills of the seized items available via Hightail.
A joint agency investigation has resulted in a 33-year-old man from the United States appearing before a Melbourne court, charged over the importation of methamphetamine and trafficking of cocaine.
The man was arrested at his Ringwood residence yesterday (25 Sept. 2020) by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers, and appearing before Melbourne Magistrate's Court via videolink today (26 Sept. 2020).
He was charged over an importation of approximately 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine intercepted by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers on 10 September 2020, and in trafficking cocaine within Australia. Victoria Police assisted throughout the investigation.
The methamphetamine was concealed inside five bottles of hair products imported from France. ABF officers examined the consignment and noticed anomalies, with tests of the product inside the bottles providing a positive indication for methamphetamine.
AFP investigators took control of the consignment, which was addressed to a house in Collingwood. Subsequent enquiries identified the US national as previously living at the address, and a search warrant was executed in Collingwood on Wednesday, 23 September 2020, by AFP and Victoria Police officers. Yesterday (25 September 2020), AFP officers arrested the man at a residence in Ringwood.
It will be alleged in court that the man facilitated the importation of the methamphetamine from overseas.
Enquiries are ongoing to identify other people involved in plans to distribute it within Australia.
It will also be alleged in court that the man trafficked cocaine from Melbourne to another person in Sydney through the mail system.
The man has been charged with:
One count of importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.1(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). Attempted possession of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), by virtue of section 11.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). Trafficking a controlled drug, namely cocaine, contrary to section 302.4 (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for the first charge listed above is life imprisonment.
He is appearing before Melbourne Magistrate's Court today (26 September 2020).
Note to media
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015. Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at www.counsellingonline.org.au. For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to www.turningpoint.org.au.
AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297
ABF Media: (02) 6264 2244
Victoria Police Media: (03) 9247 5205