Police have charged 16 people with 32 drug offences in Mount Isa, in Queensland’s Gulf Country Region. The charges come at the end of a yearlong operation aimed at breaking the supply of ice in the Mount Isa area.
The police operation, Papa Journey, began in July 2017 in response to increased ice (methamphetamine) use in Mount Isa, according to a Queensland Police press release.
Police acted on information from community sources throughout the operation. In total, 163 people were charged with 385 offences.
Queensland Police intercepted a Holden ute 20 km (12 miles) east of Mount Isa on Dec. 3, 2017, as part of the operation. Inside a hidden compartment inside the vehicle, 283 grams (10 ounces) of ice were allegedly found.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ice is a stimulant drug that a person smokes, snorts, injects the powder form, or swallows the tablet form.
It is known to increase the amount of the natural chemical dopamine in the “reward areas” of the brain. This feeds the desire for the drug, prompting the user to repeat the experience.
Ice, through its injected use, can increase the risk of contracting infectious diseases, like HIV. Ice users can also experience severe changes in the parts of the brain associated with emotion and memory.
Acting Detective Inspector Dave Barron said that the recent Mount Isa operation targeted the northern end of the “ice highway”—attempting to counter the movement of drugs up through Western Queensland.
According to the press release, he said, “this operation has had a significant impact on the drug trade with the seizure of over $700 000 of ice in the Mt Isa area.”
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