Two charged in Albion Park drug raid

Two men have been charged with supplying drugs after a two-month police operation targeting drug distribution in Albion Park.

Michael Watling, 27, and Bryce Ryan, 25, appeared at Wollongong Local Court yesterday after their homes were raided on Wednesday as part of Strike Force Lignite, which was formed to investigate the sale of ice, ecstasy and cannabis.

Watling was allegedly caught with nearly 24 grams of methamphetamine or "ice", worth an estimated $8000 on the street, when his Mount Warrigal home was searched on Wednesday morning.

Police claim the search also yielded several pink tablets, believed to be ecstasy, four bags of green vegetable matter, along with a set of scales, $1700 cash and a stolen laptop.

Ryan is accused of supplying drugs from his Albion Park Rail home after he was electronically recorded selling drugs on several occasions to an undercover police officer.

Police allege that when a woman went to Ryan's home on December 4 and paid $100 for 0.4 grams of ice, Ryan indicated he was also capable of supplying large quantities of "pills".

Officers searched Ryan's home on Wednesday and found a small quantity of a crystallised substance, which Ryan allegedly denied was drugs.

A large amount of drug paraphernalia was also discovered at the house, the court was told.

Both men were charged with several counts of supplying drugs. Watling also faces one count each of drug possession, having goods suspected of being stolen and dealing with the proceeds of crime while Ryan faces charges of supplying drugs on an ongoing basis and operating a drug premises.

Opposing the pair's bail yesterday, prosecutor Sergeant Ryan Casey cited the strength of the Crown case.

Solicitor Jeff David said his client, Watling, had strong community ties, stable accommodation and could offer a surety.

Barrister Cathy Doosey, for Ryan, said her client's criminality was at the lower end of the scale and he was unlikely to reoffend. Magistrate Doug Dick granted Ryan bail and adjourned his matter to February 13.

Watling was refused bail and is set to reappear in court on January 30.

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