A NSW Police strike force responsible for the arrest of dozens of alleged drug dealers in the Illawarra has claimed its first court victory.
Martyn Oliver Wall, a 53-year-old pensioner, pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday to drug supply after he was secretly recorded selling ice to an undercover operative in November last year.
Wall, from Wollongong, was among scores of predominately street-level dealers arrested by detectives under the banner of Strike Force Worra, an operation set up n October 2016 to target illegal drug activity in the Illawarra.
Police used a series of undercover operatives to make drug exchanges with those they believed were responsible for dealing in ice, cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.
It is alleged the deals took place in carparks, outside fast food outlets, near shopping centres, in pubs and inside homes, including at Warrawong’s Illawong Gardens unit block on Northcliffe Drive.
Covert and electronic surveillance including phone taps will form part of the evidence against those charged.
The investigation culminated in a series of high-profile raids carried out on properties in Unanderra, Warrawong, Warilla, Corrimal, Port Kembla and Cringila.
Those arrested include an 18-year-old boy, an expectant mother, disability pensioners and a Novotel chef.
Police documents tendered to the court on Tuesday said police secretly recorded a meeting between Wall and a woman in November last year in which Wall supplied the woman with 0.09 grams of ice for $120.
He also gave the woman his mobile phone number and said he was happy to supply her with more drugs if she needed them.
The substance was later seized by police, weighed and analysed. It was found to be 0.09 grams of methylamphetamine, with a purity of 79 per cent.
Magistrate Brett Thomas sentenced Wall to seven months’ prison but agreed to suspend it after hearing submissions from his lawyer.
“If this had been any sort of organised operation you would be going to jail today,” Magistrate Thomas said, noting Wall had a chequered history with the law but no similar matters on his record.
“I’m satisfied it was a one-off situation.”
The remaining Strike Force Worra accused will face court again later this month.