Operation targets drug rings in prisons

GANG squad detectives have arrested an alleged Maryborough prison drug king pin and seven of his associates during a state-wide sting targeting trafficking in Queensland jails.

Four Maryborough prison inmates were among those charged after an investigation into bikie linked drug and weapons supply chains, peaked with sweeping raids on Wednesday night.

Codenamed Operation Mike Clyde, the three month investigation tracked the alleged efforts of the Mongols and Bandidos criminal motorcycle gangs to infiltrate the state's prison system, take control of the drug network and threaten the safety of security guards and inmates.

A 54-year-old Maryborough inmate has been charged with trafficking in dangerous drugs.

Seven members of his alleged criminal network are now before the courts on drug related charges.

A 27-year-old Maryborough inmate and alleged Bandido associate has also been charged with trafficking along with two other inmates, aged 30 and 20.

Two Poona women, aged 59 and 52, were also arrested.

At Brisbane's Arthur Gorrie jail, a 25-year-old inmate and alleged Mongols associate has been charged with the trafficking of drugs and weapons.

Queensland Corrective Services officers allegedly uncovered Mongols paraphernalia and a banner marked SYLM, the alleged acronym for Support Your Local Mongols, within his cell.

Between them, the 19 alleged offenders arrested during the raids, which were also carried out in Bundaberg, Biloela and the Gold Coast, face 51 related charges.

It will be alleged that police and prison guards discovered "high quality" methylamphetamine along with cannabis, morphine and buprenorphine.

Five secret mobile phones and a number of phone sim cards were also seized.

Taskforce Maxima Commander, Detective Superintendent Mick Niland said drugs in prisons were "a highly sought after commodity" and the seriousness of the "illustrates the lengths criminal motorcycle gangs will go to".

He said the operation had effectively destroyed the networks and led to the arrest of the "ring leaders".

There was "no suggestion" yesterday that Corrective Service Officers at Maryborough or Brisbane had been party to the alleged offending.



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