Fast-track order by Tamworth magistrate

A MAGISTRATE has placed a fast-track order on the committal hearings of three men charged with drug offences, saying he wants no more delays.

Two Tamworth men and an alleged senior member of an outlaw motorcycle gang will enter pleas for drug supply charges next month.

Curtis Taylor, 24, and Norman Bryan, 23, appeared in Tamworth Local Court on strict conditional bail yesterday.

Their cases were fast tracked for committal hearings on March 13.

They were arrested by Maitland and Wyong police in a Cessnock fast food restaurant’s car park on August 4 last year.

A police strike force made up of Tamworth detectives had been investigating drug supply offences in the region.

Police alleged the men travelled to Cessnock to buy drugs, which Taylor allegedly had more of in his possession at the time of the arrest.

A search of his Daruka home near Tamworth allegedly found more drugs and a shortened rifle.

They each face charges of supplying prohibited drugs, while Taylor also faces charges of possessing an unregistered firearm and not keeping it safely.

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions prosecutor David O’Neill said the brief of evidence against the men was large, involving hundreds of pages of telephone intercepts.

Magistrate Roger Prowse said he wanted no more delays and put in a fast-track order for their committal hearings on March 13.

A Mid-North Coast Lake Haven man did not appear in the court room yesterday due to hospitalisation from injuries he received in a recent motor vehicle accident.

Jesse James, 46, is a suspected member of the Comancheros motorcycle gang and faces three drug supply charges as well as a charge of dealing with property suspected to be the proceeds of crime.

He was arrested after police searched his Gorokan Dr home on the same day the Tamworth men were arrested last year.

Police allegedly uncovered an amount of methylamphetamines and cash at his home.

He has appeared in Maitland and Newcastle courts before but it will be his Tamworth court appearance next month where pleas will be entered.

Wendy McAuliffe of a Tamworth law firm appeared as James’ agent, seeking to make an adjournment for his case yesterday.

Magistrate Roger Prowse accepted that James could not appear because of his injuries and adjourned the matter for committal.

James remains on conditional bail and will also reappear in the court on March 13.

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