Home and Away actor is arrested accused of masterminding a cocaine supply syndicate across Byron Bay – just a year after bagging visitors to Australia’s hottest tourist destination
- Home and Away actor arrested in relation to Byron Bay cocaine syndicate
- Actor Putu Winchester-Stanton faced charges after Byron Shire raids on April 22
- He has called visitors to Byron Bay full of ‘tasteless mediocrity’ and ‘selfish’
- Police said they wanted to ensure tourists were safe in the popular holiday spot
A former Home and Away actor has been accused of being the mastermind behind an alleged drug syndicate supplying cocaine across Byron Bay.
Putu Winchester-Stanton, 44, was one of seven men arrested after police raided homes across the Byron Shire on Thursday April 22.
He was charged with 10 offences including supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and knowingly direct activities of criminal group.
The actor made headlines in September last year after saying Melburnians who had moved to Byron made his ‘skin crawl’ and were ‘greedy and selfish’.
Former Home and Away actor Putu Winchester-Stanton (right) was arrested on April 22
Police allege Winchester-Stanton (right) was the mastermind of a cocaine supply ring in Byron
Police conducted four search warrants at a Byron Bay business and homes in Byron Bay, Bangalow and Mullumbimby.
Officers seized 340 grams of cocaine, $25,000 worth of cash and proceeds of crime during the searches.
Winchester-Stanton was arrested along with Zain Papa, 30, Bodene Lee Robertson, 32 and Clayton MacDonald, 44, and three others.
After the arrests, Detective Acting Superintendent Greg Thomas said police needed to protect tourists in the popular holiday region.
‘The Far North Coast is continually becoming increasingly popular with domestic tourists, and it is our job to ensure locals and visitors feel safe in our holiday towns,’ he said.
Winchester-Stanton made his big break starring in Heartbreak High (left)
Police seized 340 grams of cocaine and $25,000 worth of cash after searching four houses in Byron and surrounding suburbs
Seven men were arrested over the alleged cocaine syndicate operating across Byron
Winchester-Stanton was born in Indonesia and made his big break starring in Heartbreak High.
He appeared in 75 episodes from 1997 to 1999 playing the character of a loveable class clown in the Australian TV drama series set in Sydney’s inner-city.
Winchester-Stanton also had minor roles in soaps Home and Away – appearing in two episodes as a surfer named Pogo – and Water Rats in 2000.
The actor launched a scathing attack on tourists to Byron Bay in September last year.
‘You can spot the Melbournians in a second,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘They just reek of Melbourne. Puffer jackets and ironed jeans. I mean what’s with that?’
He called the tourists ‘greedy and selfish’ for coming to the town during Melbourne’s 112 day lockdown last year.
‘The tasteless mediocrity that plagues the greedy and selfish just oozes from their ironed jeans,’ he said.
‘They are probably up here spending other people’s money. If they are sneaky enough to get here during this pandemic then imagine what else they are up to. They make my skin crawl.’
Winchester-Stanton previously called tourists to Byron ‘greedy and selfish’ for coming to the town during Melbourne’s 112 day lockdown last year