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Festival Drug Offences

Festival Drug Offences

96 people were arrested and one man died at the Strawberry Fields Festival.

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 festival at the Wildlands last Thursday 28 November, 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.

A 24-year-old man died following a suspected overdose.

About 12.45am on Sunday 1 December, the man was conveyed to the medical tent.

Medical staff were informed that the male had consumed multiple substances including GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), MDMA and cocaine.

Shortly after the man suffered a cardiac arrest and was treated by medical staff.

At 2.02am, he was pronounced deceased. A report will be prepared for 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."

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Key arrests:

- 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.

The police operation continued throughout through Sunday and into Monday, 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.

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