Cops text message 'dial-a-dealer' customers
THOUSANDS of alleged "dial-a-dealer" cocaine ring customers have received a text message from NSW Police after their contact details were extracted from the phones of accused suppliers.
In a surprising twist, some of the recipients have reportedly responded to the messages, after police initially contacted them in a bid to gain further information.
"This pH no has been ID'd as part of a NSWPF Cocaine investigation in the Sydney area,' the text from police read.
"If you have any information please contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000."
A police spokeswoman said dozens of those who received the text message had already replied by Friday evening.
It came after 36 people were arrested in a November sting targeting drug syndicates in Sydney, police revealed on Friday.
Police seized 468 grams of cocaine, $120,000 cash, nearly 200 grams of MDMA, two loaded guns and vehicles, but perhaps more valuable were the 2000 contact numbers taken from phones used by the criminal groups.
The groups allegedly used central phone numbers for customers to contact and organise drug drops in specified locations.
Contact details for customers were extracted from the phones of accused suppliers and police sent them messages to see if they could help with further inquiries.
They was no obligation to respond but some of the contacts reportedly called back. Details of the responses have not been made public.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell compared the alleged operations to ordering a pizza.
"It shows that the demand for cocaine is high," he told reporters in Sydney.
"What we'll be doing today is sending SMS text messages to each of those persons to ascertain if they can help us further with our inquiries," Chief Insp Bell said on Friday.
The recipients were under no obligation to respond.
The majority of those caught up in the sting were arrested over their alleged ongoing drug supply, while 14 were charged with possession.
"They're from all walks of life, from corporates to unemployed," Chief Insp Bell said.
Many of the 28 men and eight women appeared in court in November and will reappear in January.
- With AAP