Hotel manager charged in pub raid uncovering drugs

A MANAGER at Coffs Harbour's Coast Hotel and a visitor to the licensed premises have been charged with drug possession after police swooped on the venue on Sunday afternoon.  

The hotel raid was executed under a NSW Police strike force code named Rawhiti.  

Police say the operation was formed to investigate the alleged supply of drugs through local hotels in the area.  

Searching the hotel and its staff, Coffs Clarence Police allegedly uncovered cocaine, vials of anabolic steroids, cannabis and ecstasy at the Moonee St premises.   

It is understood police executed the search warrant just hours before a staff function was to be held at the premises.   

Police said a 41-year-old male employee of the hotel has been charged along with a 22-year-old male.   

"Detectives in this command commenced Strike Force Rawhiti in November of last year," Coffs Clarence Crime Manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said.   

"This was a result of information received from not only Crimestoppers but other sources dealing with the allegations that persons have been using licensed premises within the Coffs Harbour region to supply prohibited drugs.   

Det. Insp Jameson said police had used undercover policing techniques to build enough evidence for a search warrant to be served on the local hotel.   

"I would expect that further charges will flow as a result of the search warrant, but at this stage I am not prepared to discuss those any further," he said.   

Both men have been charged with drug possession and are expected to appear at the Coffs Harbour Local Court on February 6.     


MONDAY 9AM: TWO men have been charged following a drug investigation in Coffs Harbour.

In November, police from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command established Strike Force Rawhiti to investigate drug offences being committed within a licensed premises on Moonee Street, Coffs Harbour.

On Sunday about noon investigators executed a search warrant at the premises.

During the search of the property, police allegedly located numerous vials of anabolic steroids; a small amount of a substance believed to be methamphetamine; a small amount of dried cannabis leaf; and a small amount of a powder substance believed to be cocaine.

A male staff member of the premises, aged 41, was served with a Field Court Attendance Notice for possess prohibited drug.

Another male, aged 22, who was a guest at the premises, was also issued a Field Court Attendance Notice for possess prohibited drug.

They are both expected to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on February 6.


SUNDAY 2.30PM: POLICE have this afternoon executed a search warrant on a hotel in Coffs Harbour as part of an ongoing drug investigation. 

Coffs Clarence officers attended The Coast Hotel in Moonee St serving management with a search warrant. 

The NSW Police Media Unit has confirmed the search warrants are part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of prohibited drugs in the Coffs Harbour and Grafton areas.

Police said more details on the investigation would be released to the media on Monday.  

Topics:  coffs clarence local area command coffs harbour

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