WA Police have fixed their eyes on the sale of drugs through online platforms, with 47 search warrants resulting in 60 people being charged as part of a proactive drug investigation.
Drug and Firearm Squad detectives laid charges for 213 separate offences over the investigation from October 2019 to May 2020, 43 of which related to the sale of illicit drugs.
Of those search warrants (some of which are understood to have been carried out in Mandurah), 25 were executed in the last two weeks.
It would also be fair to say our search warrants came as a surprise to them, and in some cases to their parents too.Serious and Organised Crime Division Detective Inspector Gordon Fairman
Police seized 1.48 kilograms of MDMA, 162 grams of methylamphetamine, 5.89kg of Cannabis, 38 grams of Cocaine, 356 LSD tabs, 8g of ketamine, 10 dexamphetamine tablets and 8.6g of Psilocybine (Mushrooms) during the warrants.
Several mid-level, high harm drug dealers were identified and investigations into their drug-related activity are ongoing.
Serious and Organised Crime Division Detective Inspector Gordon Fairman said many young people don't appreciate the impact drug convictions will have on their future.
"Drug convictions are not seen favourably around the world, so a drug conviction in your late teens or in your twenties can have a long-lasting impact on your life," he said.
"Overseas travel options can be reduced and career prospects limited.
"As a law enforcement agency, we know there are people actively using the internet and encrypted messaging applications to take part in the illicit drug trade.
"We continue to monitor those trends and adapt our policing approach to directly counter the methods being used online.
"The internet is not a safe place to buy and sell drugs.
"It would also be fair to say our search warrants came as a surprise to them, and in some cases to their parents too."
Police minister Michelle Roberts commended police on the operation.
"The work of policing never stops. Pandemic or not," she said.
"The drug squad have done a fantastic job in making sure so much of this poison never hits the streets.
"People who choose to order illicit drugs through these online forums, should know there's a strong chance you will be caught.
"It's tragic when you meet people who have got hooked on drugs and they don't get to pursue their education or life dreams and goals and their life takes a tragic turn."
Anyone with information regarding the sale or supply of illicit drugs is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at crimestopperswa.com.au.