A Flinders father and son are among six men who will spend tonight behind bars for their alleged “entrenched” involvement in a sophisticated drug supply ring operating between the Illawarra and Central Western NSW.
Jose DeGouveia, 52, and his 29-year-old son Joshua, are alleged to have supplied thousands of dollars worth of cannabis at a time to suppliers in the Forbes and Parkes areas, as well as operating a local distribution network through a series of associates alleged to have included Joshua’s close friend Leti ‘Tom’ Tugaga, 25, seasoned fisherman Paul McGarry, 53, Warilla’s Nicholas Rogerio, 18, and Rogerio’s 28-year-old uncle, Jamie Warren.
All six men, along with the syndicate’s alleged “up-line” supplier Loc Tho Nguyen, also known as Andy Nguyen, were arrested as part of sweeping police raids carried out throughout the Illawarra on Thursday morning.
The group was charged with almost 100 offences combined and held in custody overnight to face court on Friday.
Only Nguyen and McGarry applied for bail, and it was only granted to McGarry, who with just two charges to his name is alleged to have played the most minor role in the syndicate.
However, McGarry and a friend or family member will have to agree to forfeit $20,000 each if McGarry fails to comply with his bail conditions once released.
Court documents reveal Central NSW police set up a strike force in June 2017 investigating alleged drug supply in the Parkes and Forbes areas by a man named Daniel Gil.
It is alleged they discovered that Gil was purchasing cannabis from the Illawarra through Warren and the DeGouveias.
Lake Illawarra police set up their own strike force to investigate the claims, allegedly uncovering a “sophisticated criminal syndicate” operating in the region over the course of a 10 month sting, which culminated in Thursday’s arrests.
“The syndicate was established for the express purpose of amassing wealth derived from the distribution of prohibited drugs,” police said in document tendered in court on Friday.
Police will claim they used phone taps to listen in on multiple conversations between the group members about drug deals, as well covertly recording the men as they picked up and dropped off the drugs, often at each others’ homes.
It is alleged between January and March this year, Nguyen supplied Jose DeGouveia with a total of 34.9kgs of cannabis, worth an estimated $125,000.
During a search of Nguyen’s Yarle Crescent home, police uncovered $47,000 in cash, a host of drug paraphernalia and a black stun gun..
Meantime, police allegedly Jose De Gouveira was responsible for the supply of 82.75kg of cannabis between November 2017 and March this year.
Police also allegedly found $154,945 in cash in his Brunderee Road house during the raid.
Warren and Rogerio’s cases will return to court on Tuesday for a possible bail application. The remaining matters were adjourned to May.
The alleged players:
*Loc Tho Nguyen, 34, arrested at Yarle Crescent Flinders. Also known as Andy Nguyen. Alleged up-line supplier.
*Jose De Gouveia, 53, arrested at Brunderee Rd, Flinders. Allegedly supplied 82kgs of cannabis in five months.
*Joshua De Gouveia, 29, arrested at Pioneer Rd, Flinders. Jose’s son. Allegedly received cannabis from his father, on-sold to others.
*Jamie Warren, 28, arrested at Mianga Crescent, Unanderra. Facing 19 charges. Did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.
*Nicholas Fernando Rogerio, 18, address listed as McCool St, Warilla but was reportedly living with his uncle Jamie Warren. Youngest alleged group member.
*Leti ‘Tommy’ Tugaga, 25, arrested at Beaton St, Lake Illawarra. Alleged role not yet known. Did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.
*Paul McGarry, 53, arrested at Nicolle, St Primbee. Only man charged to be granted bail. Fisherman accused of carrying out two drug deals.