Five charged in police operation outside jail

DRUGS, drink drivers and disqualified drivers were among offences targeted by police during a pop-up operation at Grafton jail over the weekend.

Officers from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command, as well as Target Action Drug and Drug Detection Dogs from the NSW Police Dog Unit conducted Operation Vermis targeting drugs, alcohol and other offences around Grafton Correctional Facility.

As a result, 17 persons and five vehicles were searched with a total of five charges laid, including mid-range drink-driving, driving while disqualified and supplying prohibited drugs.

Around 10.15am on Saturday, February 4, a 22-year-old man from Grafton was visiting the correctional centre and when searched police allegedly located eight MDMA tablets. The man attempted to flee from police before being arrested a short distance away. Police allege the man intended to introduce the ecstasy into the centre and was charged with supplying prohibited drugs to appear in Grafton Local Court on March 13.

Also on Saturday, a 25-year-old Coaldale man was stopped in his vehicle outside the centre. Police allege that he was a disqualified driver, and a subsequent search police allegedly located cannabis. The man was charged with driving whilst disqualified and possession of a prohibited drug and will appear at Grafton Local Court on March 13.

At about 1.40pm on Sunday, a 25-year-old Coffs Harbour man was stopped outside the centre and was submitted to a breath test. He abused police, and when an initial breath screening test indicated the presence of alcohol he was compelled to undergo a roadside breath test.

Police allege prior to the test, the man attempted to alter his breath test by consuming a UDL drink whilst still in the vehicle, but was prevented by police.

The man continued to be abusive and aggressive to police to the point that it is alleged that his passengers became involved. Police allegedly observed the man nervously adjusting his clothing.

After failing the roadside breath test the man was placed under arrest and when searched police allegedly located a MDMA tablet on him. The man allegedly returned a reading of 0.088 and has now been charged with mid range PCA (drink driving) and possession of a prohibited drug to appear at Grafton Local Court on March 13, 2017.