Hundreds of goats seized in rural NSW bust

·1-min read

Hundreds of stolen goats have been recovered and eight people have been charged as part of a large criminal bust in rural NSW.

The men and a woman were arrested after police found drugs, stolen goods and about 700 of the farm animals during an operation in western and southern NSW.

"What police will allege occurred here is that the goats were stolen from several properties and sold illegally," Murrumbidgee Police District crime manager Eugene Stek on Friday.

The group believed they were operating completely undetected by police, Detective Inspector Stek said.

Rural crime such as stock, fuel and equipment theft cost people millions of dollars, he said.

Central North police began investigating drug supply and rural crime around Cobar began in May last year.

Murrumbidgee police established their own strike force seven months later to investigate the supply of methamphetamine and cannabis in the Hillston area.

The teams then worked together to investigate reports of the illegal sale of goats and firearms on the border between the two districts.

Police last month found the goats while searching properties in Bundure, Kidman Way at Mount Hope, Illawong and Landervale.

The animals, which included domestically bred Boer goats, would be returned to their owners if they could be identified, police said.

Properties were searched at Cobar, Hillston and Mount Hope on Thursday, where police seized methamphetamine, cannabis, prescription medication, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and more than $7000 in cash.

Eight people aged between 28 and 50 were arrested and charged with drug, criminal group, rural crime and weapons offences.

They remain before the courts.

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