Accused dealer 'swapped drugs for sex with child'

POLICE have charged a Warwick man they say used his authority as a drug dealer to solicit sexual favours from a 14-year-old child.

Detective Sergeant Darren Tamblyn said the man was arrested during a string of police raids at the weekend.

The 21-year-old was charged with two counts of indecent dealing with a child and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

"Some of these people that are supplying these drugs are taking advantage of the vulnerability of these people they deal with and their naivety," he said.

"They have also been found out that they are committing sexual assault offences on some of their clients, the juveniles they are selling drugs to.

"Those people charged with dealing with minor can expect lengthy prison sentences."

Operation Barracuda will continue after the successful arrests.

"There were some really good results. There were a lot of people charged with supplying dangerous drugs and a substantial amount of money seized," Sgt Tamblyn said.

Police recovered methamphetamine, marijuana and ecstasy during the operation.

A firearm and 50 hydroponic marijuana plants were found at a Wallangarra property.

Any earlier phase of Operation Barracuda saw a 21-year-old man arrested in November.

He appeared in Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday charged with three counts of trafficking dangerous drugs, 29 counts of supply drugs to a minor, one count of rape, two counts of indecent dealings with child under the age of 16 and two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge.

The man's case was adjourned to a later date.

Operation Barracuda Arrests, December 14-16

Nine charges of supply of dangerous drugs

Four counts of producing dangerous drugs

14 counts of possession dangerous drugs

15 counts of possession of utensils

One count of robbery with violence

Two counts of evade police

Two counts of indecent dealing with a child

One count of possession of child exploitation material