Police are baffled over how a man allegedly acquired $3 million worth of pseudoephedrine tablets seized from a Melbourne home early Tuesday.
Drug taskforce detectives found more than five million pharmaceutical-grade tablets in a raid at 2.30am (AEDT) on a family home at Epping in Melbourne's northern suburbs.
Police said they also seized 250kg of white powder, 300 vials of steroids, numerous bottles of methadone and about 200 litres of various chemicals from the home.
Detective Inspector Steve Smith, of the drug taskforce, told reporters the situation was unusual because illicit drug manufacturers normally used "pseudo runners" to acquire commercial pseudoephedrine in small amounts from pharmacies.
Pseudoephedrine is used in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, or speed.
"We don't know how this man came by packaging of that sheer size," he said.
"It has certainly not come over the counter. It appears to be a one-off enterprise for this fellow, who has significant abilities to obtain large amounts of pills.
"We will re-group and examine the packaging, pills, names and brands to ascertain its origins and whether other people are involved in helping this guy."
The tablets were stored in plain plastic bags and boxes, rather than commercial packaging.
Det Insp Smith said the drugs and chemicals would have been processed for criminal elements in clandestine laboratories to create more than 150kg of illicit amphetamines.
Although chemical companies and pharmacists have adopted anti-diversion programs to stop the illegal spread of pseudoephedrine, the scale of Tuesday's seizure was beyond their scope, he said.
"It's also very troubling to find something of this size and nature can be in a house in suburbia," Det Insp Smith said.
"But it's pleasing to get them off the market and we may well have starved a number of labs of their main chemicals."
John Gonzalez, 36, was charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence.
Chief Magistrate Ian Gray remanded him in custody to appear in March in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Mr Gonzalez's wife - who police say they have no plans to charge at this stage - and two primary school-aged children were asleep in the Epping house when the raid took place.
"Clearly it's a recipe for disaster to have tablets available and lying around loose for the children and other children visiting if they swallow them," Det Insp Smith said.
"Neighbours might have seen people coming and going carrying out large boxes and identified pharmaceuticals, chemicals or bulk medicines that would arouse suspicions and they should report that."
A Holden Commodore, three plasma TVs, and a number of air conditioners were among items seized as possible proceeds of crime.