TWO Cessnock men, accused of being members of an organised criminal syndicate that supplied large quantities of cannabis from the Central West to the Hunter, have been refused bail in Maitland Local Court.
Jeffrey Paul Mears, 56, and David John Mathews, 51, were among eight people arrested during seven raids on properties at Dubbo and Cessnock on Monday morning.
During the massive operation police say they seized more than $140,000 in cash, a Falcon V8 Supercar, a GTS HT Monaro, three other cars, seven motorbikes, a tractor and a quad bike, which they allege are all the proceeds of crime. Police say they also seized cannabis with an estimated potential street value of nearly $900,000.
The raids were the culmination of an eight-month investigation by Strike Force Bato detectives into the commercial supply of cannabis in Dubbo, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, police said.
And Monday's operation involved more than 80 police officers from the three commands, the NSW Police Dog Unit, the Australian Border Force and the NSW Crime Commission.
Mr Mears appeared in Maitland Local Court on Tuesday charged with three counts of supplying a prohibited drug, including supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, and knowingly participating in a criminal group.
Mr Mathews appeared in the same court charged with three counts of supplying a prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.
Neither man entered pleas, but both applied for bail, which was refused by Magistrate John Chicken, who cited concerns the pair would fail to appear in the future or commit a serious offence. Another Cessnock man was charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug and two counts of possession of a prohibited drug. He was granted conditional bail to appear in Cessnock Local Court on April 10. Out west, those accused of directing the syndicate - Paul Michael Anderson and Adam Daniel Carnevale - were appearing in court in Dubbo and Mudgee.
Both men were refused bail and all alleged syndicate members will appear in Dubbo Local Court in May.