The masterminds of an Australian-based criminal syndicate were on Friday collectively sentenced to a total of 31 years and eight months behind bars, after an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation smashed a major drug-trafficking ring in Melbourne in 2018.
A 34-year-old Maidstone man, the ringleader of the onshore syndicate and a 34-year-old Maribyrnong man, his senior associate, were convicted over conspiring to traffick commercial quantities of methamphetamine and heroin, along with dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Crimes occurred from May 2018
The court heard the syndicate had conspired to traffick a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and heroin between 31 May 2018 and 21 September 2018.
The duo was sentenced after facing the Melbourne County Court on Friday 21 August. The Maidstone man was sentenced to 18 years and eight months, with non-parole period of 12 years and 10 months. The Maribyrnong man was handed a 13-year sentence with a non-parole period of eight years and four months.
AFP detectives launched their investigation into the criminal syndicate operating in Melbourne’s western suburbs in May 2018 and subsequently executed a series of search warrants in various parts of the city.
Total of five arrests were made
Five men were arrested, including the two 34-year-old men sentenced on Friday.
During the execution of the search warrants, police uncovered a cannabis grow house operated by the syndicate and seized more than four kilograms of methamphetamine and 2.5 kilograms of heroin.
Investigators also seized more than $200 000 in cash, encrypted mobile phones, firearms and a Lamborghini sports car.
Other syndicate members also jailed
Two additional members of the same syndicate were this month also sentenced over their roles.
A 35-year-old Footscray man charged with trafficking and conspiracy to traffick a controlled drug was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight years and two months.
A 35-year-old Delahey man charged with conspiracy to traffick and trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and heroin, was sentenced to 10 years and two months in jail, with a non-parole period of seven years and two months.
AFP restrains $20-million in assets
The AFP, through the AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce, has restrained more than $20-million in assets relating to the syndicate and its criminal operations.
These include real property, cash and account funds, high-end motor vehicles and custom number plates, luxury watches and accessories, plus a series of investment interests in real estate developments in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.