Ex-Sydney Roosters prospect Ben Darcy has once again found himself at the centre of controversy, with the 28-year-old being arrested by NSW Police as part of a large cocaine distribution ring bust in late November.
Darcy was caught in a large sweep of street-level dealers, all of whom were operating a “dial-a-dealer“-style system that was said to have been funnelling cocaine into the Sydney CBD and its surrounding upmarket suburbs.
Redfern police detectives established Operation Northdrop in September, and on November 25th arrested Darcy at a Paddington residence. A subsequent search of the property uncovered cocaine and around $30,000 in cash.
Around 36 people were arrested as part of the sting, all of whom operated independently from each other as street-level dealers, police allege. Cocaine, MDMA, steroids, cars, around $120,000 in cash, mobile phones, and two guns were all seized as part of the police operations.
Darcy himself, who played lower grade football for the Sydney Roosters in his youth, is no stranger to police. In 2011 he was detained in Germany after being caught attempting to smuggle 36 baby pythons into the country.
Two years later in 2013, Darcy became a central figure in the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority‘s investigation into first-grade NRL players Martin Kennedy and Sandor Earl, both of whom were close friends of Darcy.
Incriminating texts found on Darcy’s phone upon his return from Thailand indicated that Kennedy and Earl had been supplied with illicit performance-enhancing substances.
During the resulting investigation, Earl was slapped with a 4-year ban from the sport, which expired this year and allowed him to return to the NRL by signing a contract with the Melbourne Storm.
Kennedy on the other hand was arrested in March of this year over his role in an alleged reptile trafficking organisation. At the time of his arrest, Kennedy was serving a two year, nine month ASADA suspension for anti-doping infractions.
Darcy has been charged with two counts of knowingly deal with the proceeds of crime, five counts of supplying of a prohibited drug, ongoing drug supply, and breach of bail. He was already facing unrelated charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failure to quit licensed premises.
He was granted conditional bail, and is now scheduled to face Downing Centre Local Court on January 23rd.