WATCH: Drug supply smashed in early morning raids
UPDATE, 2.26pm: POLICE have derailed a major drug operation in the Casino area, after their made several arrests and seized a large haul of drugs, guns and other goods.
Richmond Police District crime manager, detective Chief Inspector Cameron Lindsay, said six people were arrested earlier today following a seven month investigation into a drug syndicate in the Casino and Lismore area.
"Police today as part of Strike Force Balsille executed 11 search warrants both within the Casino, Lismore, Drake and Tabulam areas," he said.
"We will allege that a number of people arrested today were involved int eh supply of methamphetamine and also the supply of firearms in this area.
"We will allege that this is a network of drug suppliers and firearm suppliers within the Casino and Lismore areas.
"It does go further afield however this network was based in the Casino area.
"We will allege that these are the suppliers that have been arrested and these warrants have been issued for this supply."
Detective Chief Insp Lindsay said the Casino and surrounding community were instrumental in today's raids, with many people contacting Crime Stoppers with information about drug related crimes.
"We will allege that it is a good example of this community saying they've had enough of methamphetamine, they've had enough of ice being in this community and they're reporting this through our Crime Stoppers," he said.
"We are well aware that the Casino community are sick and tire of ice within this area.
"We have received a lot of creditable information through Crime Stoppers and our Dob in a Dealer campaign.
"We anticipate this will have a huge impact on the availability of ice within this township."
Police are continuing their investigations, with more arrests expected over the coming days.
"Some of the arrested people will appear today and we will be putting those allegations before the court," detective Chief Insp Lindsay said.
UPDATE, 12.54pm: SIX people have been arrested following several search warrants in the state's Northern Rivers region today.
In February 2019, detectives from Richmond Police District established Strike Force Balsillie to investigate the supply of methylamphetamine and firearms in Casino.
Following extensive inquiries, about 7am today, officers attached to Richmond Police District, along with officers from the Tactical Operations Unit, Northern Rivers Region Enforcement Squad, Operational Support Group and the Police Dog Unit executed 11 search warrants at properties in Casino, Drake, Tabulam, East Lismore, Lismore and Irvington.
During these searches, methylamphetamine, cocaine, cannabis, cash, drug paraphernalia and firearms were located and seized.
As a result, a 34-year-old woman and five men - aged between 32 and 49 - were arrested and taken to Casino and Lismore Police Stations.
They are expected to be charged later today with a range of drug supply and firearms offences.
Richmond Police District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Lindsay said these arrests will cause a major disruption to local crime in Casino.
"These arrests today are the culmination of months of planning and investigative work conducted by detectives at Richmond Police District.
"This will drastically reduce the drug trade in Casino, as well as other resulting crime," Det Ch Insp Lindsay said.
"It's an all of community effort to help find and catch those who are responsible for supplying these dangerous drugs on our streets - if you ever see anything suspicious, please report it to Crime Stoppers, remember you can remain anonymous," Det Ch Insp Lindsay said.
Investigations under Strike Force Balsillie are continuing and further arrests are expected.
UPDATE, 10.50am: COMMUNITY tip-offs resulted in multiple arrests across the Northern Rivers, according to police.
Richmond Police District Commander, Superintendent Toby Lindsay, thanked the community for their cooperation over the past few months, which has resulted in multiple arrests.
Today's Strike Force Balsillie operation throughout the Northern Rivers is a great example of the partnership between the community, Crime Stoppers and our local police to disrupt the supply of the illegal drugs, including ice, and firearms in Northern NSW," he said
"Many months of investigations has resulted in Casino Detectives and supporting police arresting illegal drug and firearm suppliers today.
"These investigations are ongoing."
More to come.
UPDATE, 9.35am: POLICE have made a series of arrests for this morning across the Northern Rivers.
At least two people have been arrested from Casino homes after 8am, as part of Strike Force Balsille.
Police continue to seize a large haul of evidence from all of the houses, including the drug ice and guns.
More to come.
Original story: POLICE have raided eight houses in Lismore, Casino, Tabulam and Drake in the early hours of this morning searching for guns and ice.
Eight people are expected to be charged after police made arrests at the properties.
Investigators are currently searching the eight homes for evidence and have so far retrieved ice, utensils suitable for supply, cash and guns.
Police were seen to be bagging a large quantity of evidence outside one of the Casino properties about 8.30am today.
More information to come.