DETECTIVES say they have smashed a major Hunter ice supply ring and seized two kilograms of the drug after a raid at Shortland on Friday.
Police say they arrested alleged ringleader Michael Vasilevski, 30, as well alleged syndicate members Jason Cucumanovski, 27, and Tegan Lagazio, 28, at a unit in Marsden Street about 4.30pm.
During the raid police allege they uncovered two kilograms of methylamphetamine, a loaded Remington semi-automatic pistol and cash.
Police later posted online photographs of the weapon and ammunition and a police officer holding two large plastic bags containing a white crystalline substance.
Mr Vasilevski was later charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug, knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group, dealing with property which is the proceeds of crime, possession of an unauthorised pistol, possession of ammunition without holding a licence and not keeping a firearm safely.
Mr Cucumanovski and Ms Lagazio were charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug, participating in a criminal group and dealing with property which is the proceeds of crime.
The trio were bail refused by police on Friday and appeared in Newcastle Bail Court on Saturday where they were again bail refused to appear in Newcastle Local Court on Monday.
Detectives attached to the Newcastle Police District Drug Unit say they established Strike Force Betel in July to investigate the large commercial supply of methylamphetamine, or ice, in the Newcastle area.
Their inquiries, they say, led them to the unit in Shortland and Mr Vasilevski and his alleged co-conspirators.
The raid represents a significant bust for police.
The amount of drugs that police allegedly seized on Friday is four times the threshold for a charge of supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, an offence that carries a maximum of life imprisonment.
Strike Force Betel detectives said investigations into the drug syndicate were still continuing.
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