Young couple Erin Clayton and Aidan Hartnett (above) have both been charged over an alleged country town ice ring.
Young couple Erin Clayton and Aidan Hartnett (above) have both been charged over an alleged country town ice ring.

‘Cutest little family’ in alleged ice ring

ONE Facebook friend calls the young engaged pair's Santa photo with their young daughter posted online last Christmas the "cutest little family ever". Other Facebook friends dub them a "beautiful family" and "cutie patooties".

But the couple, Erin Clayton, 20, and her fiancee Aidan John Hartnett, 22, have been revealed as two of the five people NSW Police arrested last week in a raid on an alleged ice ring.

The couple, pictured in local community newspaper coverage of a Bathurst Wiggles concert last June, feature in a March 8 police video of the alleged ice bust.

Officers raided four properties, arrested the couple and three men aged Gregory Charles Campbell, 61, Tony James Simmons, 31 and Jacob Matthew Morrison, 25, and allegedly seized half a kilogram of methamphetamine and cash.

Mr Hartnett, who calls himself a labourer at a timber company, was arrested at his workplace in outer Bathurst and appeared in Bathurst Local Court on Monday.
Ms Clayton was arrested outside a gym, handcuffed and placed into police custody.

Police also raided two suburban houses using specially-trained sniffer dogs.

Friends called this image taken last Christmas of alleged ice ring couple Aidan Hartnett and Erin Clayton the ‘cutest little family ever’.
Friends called this image taken last Christmas of alleged ice ring couple Aidan Hartnett and Erin Clayton the ‘cutest little family ever’.

On Facebook, the young couple appears in numerous photos with friends partying, or relaxing with their young daughter.

Police video of Erin Clayton handcuffed and arriving at Bathurst Police Station following her arrest at a Bathurst gym.
Police video of Erin Clayton handcuffed and arriving at Bathurst Police Station following her arrest at a Bathurst gym.

Ms Clayton plays in a local football team and studied an animal care course at Bathurst TAFE.

Their Christmas photo last December, in which the couple's young daughter sits on Mr Hartnett's lap, attracted the response from a Facebook friend, "Really loverly (sic) family photo".

NSW Police have sent samples of the seized drugs for forensic analysis.

Strike Force Garnier was commenced in August 2017 by officers from Chifley Police District to investigate the supply of illicit drugs in the Bathurst area.

Police will allege in court that more than half a kilogram of methamphetamine and cash was seized over the course of the investigation.

Mr Hartnett and Mr Campbell were both charged with supply large commercial quantity of prohibited drug and refused bail.

Aidan Hartnett being escorted by Bathurst detectives following his arrest at a timber mill.
Aidan Hartnett being escorted by Bathurst detectives following his arrest at a timber mill.

Mr Morrison was charged with supplying drugs, possession of drugs and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Police arrest at a Bathurst house one of four men charged over the alleged ice ring.
Police arrest at a Bathurst house one of four men charged over the alleged ice ring.

Mr Simmons, 31, was charged with supply prohibited drug, resisting police, possession of cannabis.

They were also bail refused.

Ms Clayton was charged with participate in criminal group and granted conditional bail to appear at Bathurst Local Court on April 9.

A 24-year-old man was released pending further inquiries.

NSW Police said investigations were continuing and further arrests were expected.

Chifley Police District Commander, Detective Superintendent Paul McDonald said the arrests are the culmination of several months of dedicated investigative work.

"Ice not only destroys lives in our cities, it destroys lives in country communities too. Far too many families in country towns are having to deal with the raw havoc this horrible drug wreaks," Supt McDonald said.

"If you have any information about ice supply in NSW; whether it is in a country town or major city please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The Bathurst pair are engaged.
The Bathurst pair are engaged.
Hartnett with the couple’s daughter.
Hartnett with the couple’s daughter.
Alleged ice couple Erin Clayton and Aidan Hartnett have been charged following an alleged ice operation sting by Bathurst police.
Alleged ice couple Erin Clayton and Aidan Hartnett have been charged following an alleged ice operation sting by Bathurst police.


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