One per cent of festival charged

By Southern Riverina News

A man allegedly carrying 75 MDMA tablets, speed and cocaine is one of more than 95 people charged with drug offences at this year’s Strawberry Fields music festival.

A high-visibility police operation commenced at Strawberry Fields festival at the Wildlands last Thursday 28 November 2019, maintaining a safe environment for the record crowd of more than 9,500 patrons daily across the event.

The operation involved officers from Murray River Police District, as well as the NSW Police Dog Unit and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

During the police operation, 96 people were arrested with 69 charges laid for drug related offences and 11 people issued Drug Criminal Infringement Notices (CINs). Police made in excess of 70 drug detections.

Of note:

A 22-year-old Victorian man was charged with supply prohibited drug and three counts of possess prohibited drug.

He is due to appear at Finley Local Court on Thursday 19 December 2019.

A 20-year-old North Albury man was charged with supply prohibited drug and possess prohibited drug.

A 26-year-old Victorian man was charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug, and three counts of possess prohibited drug.

A 25-year-old Victorian man was charged with supply prohibited drug, escape police custody, and resist officer in execution of duty.

A 24-year-old man died following a suspected overdose. A report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.

Murray River Police District Commander, Acting Superintendent Andrew Spliet said he was pleased with overall crowd behaviour; however, there are still a large number of people who aren’t getting the message about bringing illegal drugs to the event.

“It’s disappointing that despite the warnings, we continue to detect the possession and supply of these illicit substances,” Acting Superintendent Spliet said.

“Not only is it a serious criminal offence, it is also harmful to your health; it can impact not only your life, but the lives of those around you.

“The safety of festival-goers remains our number one priority.”

The police operation continued throughout yesterday (Sunday 1 December 2019) and today, with more than 800 stationary roadside breath and drug tests resulting in 20 drug detections, four charged with drug possession and 19 samples sent for further testing.