Weapons and drugs found at Goulburn Jail in contraband crackdown

Weapons were among the contraband found in NSW prisons during Operation Purge.
Weapons were among the contraband found in NSW prisons during Operation Purge.

Drugs and prison-made weapons have been seized at Goulburn Jail in a major search for contraband in NSW prisons.

Six weapons, 52 grams of tobacco, a syringe, two suboxone wafers, three Seroquel tablets and a quantity of non-prescribed tablets during the search of cells, a NSW Corrective Services spokesman said.

None of it was found in the Supermax.

News of the search came after a broken drone, two 50g tobacco packets and one mobile phone were found on the roof of a building at the facility on Sunday morning. 

The crackdown was part of Operation Purge.

“Operation Purge left no stone unturned, targeting all 36 prisons across the state, including our local prison, where a number of illegal items were seized,” Goulburn MP Pru Goward said.

The operation was the largest contraband sweep of the state’s prison system, according to Minister for Corrections, David Elliot.

It netted 11 mobile phones, steroids, crystal meth, more than 600 grams of tobacco, 30 syringes and needles and 44 prison-made weapons.

Mr Elliot praised correctional officers who took part in the operation, which involved targeted searches at across the jails over 11 weeks. 

“More than 1,300 custodial officers and 90 Security Operations Group officers have done a fantastic job executing these intelligence-based raids, in conjunction with each facility’s regular contraband searches,” Mr Elliott said.

“The unprecedented operation has produced great results, with searches of 8,377 inmates, 5,079 cells, and 576 common areas. A total of 105 inmates are now facing charges of possessing contraband.”

Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) Commissioner Peter Severin said the prison system was now safer, but officers remained vigilant.

“Contraband is an issue for correctional centres across the globe, but I am confident that by using the skills of custodial officers combined with local intelligence and modern technology we can continue to disrupt this criminal activity,” he said.

CSNSW Assistant Commissioner Mark Wilson PSM directed the operation from a command centre in Silverwater and said inmates in possession of contraband would continue to be caught and punished appropriately.

“These inmates now face prosecution and other punishments such as segregation, withdrawal of privileges and no contact visits for up to 56 days,” Mr Wilson PSM said.