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Operation Edgewater, cleaning up drugs in Redfern-Waterloo

A major operation targeting the manufacture of narcotics in home laboratories has resulted in numerous arrests and the seizure of large quantities of illegal drugs in the Redfern and Waterloo areas. The police investigation conducted from Redfern Command was known asOperation Edgewater and involved both overt and covert police action over the past four months reports Todd Dagwell in the October 2006 edition of the South Sydney Herald.

Commander Catherine Burn of the Redfern Local Area Command says there have been 72 drug related charges made against eighth offenders.

The arrests were for the serious offence of ‘supplying drugs on an ongoing basis’. “This has been a long-term operation, targeting drug dealers and the manufacturers of hard drugs such as ecstasy, ice, heroin and cocaine, which we have recently seized large quantities of,” Commander Burn said.

The arrests took place after police raided residences they believed were being used to manufacture illegal drugs in homemade laboratories.

One such venue was the Foundry apartment complex at 181 Lawson Street, Redfern. A number of residents of the Foundry witnessed the Police operation being carried out, along with the removal of the illegal substances from the premises.

A Foundry resident told the Herald that on arriving home at 7:30pm he witnessed a number of police wearing protective gloves and masks. They were removing buckets filled with an unknown substance. “I then entered my flat and for about an hour I heard voices and noises that were disruptive.

I opened my door and a police officer told me everything was under control. The activity lasted for another hour. After that I opened the door and saw that everyone had left but there was what looked like white powder all over the floor”, the resident said.

A detective with the New South Wales Drug Squad, Mark Ancic said the raids in Redfern and Operation Edgewater were part of a larger drug investigation being carried out by the Wollongong Police Department.

It is believed a number of police targets in Wollongong had links to those arrested for manufacturing drugs in Redfern.

According to Mr Ancic, the Drug Squad became involved once police learned that drugs were not only being sold but also manufactured using potentially dangerous ingredients such as pseudo-ephadiem.

“The Drug Squad were involved in a number of warrants. We are there to determine if the manufacture of drugs has taken place, which then assists police in laying the appropriate charges. Essentially we are a crime scene unit, there to gather drug evidence”, said Mr Ancic.

[Source – South Sydney Herald October 2006]