US man arrested over 250kg meth sting

US resident charged over attempted possession of 250kg of meth after international investigation. Picture: NewsWire handout
A US resident has been charged over the attempted possession of 250kg of meth after international investigation. Picture: AFP/ NewsWire

An American man is facing a life sentence in Australia for attempting to possess 250kg of methamphetamine following a joint investigation between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and US Homeland Security.

Police alleged the 40-year-old agreed to purchase the meth for more than $7m from an American-based organisation.

AFP officers arrested the man following a dramatic sting at a carpark next to Sydney Olympic Park’s URBNSURF on Wednesday.

They allege the man attempted to take possession of the package, which was modelled to be meth.

Further searches were conducted at an Sydney Silverwater address which uncovered “a number” of items which will be placed under further investigation.

Homeland Security Investigations also executed search warrants in Los Angeles, Massachusetts and New York, which led to three further arrests.

US resident charged over attempted possession of 250kg of meth after international investigation. Picture: NewsWire handout
Three other men were initially arrested Picture: AFP/ NewsWire

The man is now facing one count of attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, namely methamphetamine, contrary to section 307.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

Three other men initially suspected of collecting the drugs on the behalf of Australian-based buyers were also arrested at the same time, however they have been released without charge pending further inquiries.

Wednesday’s arrest is part of a long-running investigation between the AFP and Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles into a US organised crime group who they allege are helping import border-controlled drugs into Sydney.

US resident charged over attempted possession of 250kg of meth after international investigation. Picture: NewsWire handout
Police also executed a search warrant at a Silverwater address following the arrest. Picture: AFP/ NewsWire

AFP acting Commander Investigations Eastern Command Peter Fogarty said methamphetamine was the second-most consumed illicit drug in Australia, and was responsible of an average of 27 daily hospitalisations throughout 2021-22.

“Drug syndicates inflict harm to every community they operate in, and this result is another example of the strong outcomes that can be achieved through joint international efforts,” he said.

Commander Fogarty added Australia had one of the “most lucrative markets in the world,” which incentivised criminal import substances down under.

“The AFP is unwavering in its protection of the way of life for all Australians. We are committed to targeting and combating serious organised crime groups that seek to profit from the harm they cause in our communities.”

HSI Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Eddy Wang thanked Australian law enforcement for their co-operation.

“Los Angeles remains a central distribution hub for narcotics trafficking to Oceania. To be truly effective at disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organisations, it takes robust partnerships like the one that we have forged with the Australian Federal Police,” he said.