Driving on the phone collapses $45m drug empire

SYDNEY police have closed an alleged $45 million drug operation after pulling over a driver using his mobile phone.

Redfern officers stopped a 26-year-old in Haymarket on Friday and a search of his car allegedly revealed 3kg of ice.

That led police to detain a 30-year-old man the next day in St Johns Park. He was allegedly carrying a suitcase with 10kg of the drug inside. Hours later in the same street, police searched a house connected to the detained man and allegedly found $1.4 million.

A subsequent search of a Marrickville house allegedly revealed about 77.6kg of methamphetamine.

A 30-year-old man was charged with two counts of supplying a prohibited drug and dealing in the proceeds of crime and a 21-year-old man was charged with knowingly dealing in the proceeds of crime and possessing a prohibited drug.

A 26-year-old man was refused bail and remanded to appear in Central Local Court on Thursday.