Four accused remain behind bars

FOUR men accused of operating a drug ring busted by police late last year will remain behind bars until February.

Adrian James Boucher, Peter Green, Justin Anthony Heywood and Trent Reid are facing more than 30 offences between them after police carried out a number of raids in December.

Boucher and Green failed in their bid to be released on bail yesterday in Tamworth Local Court, while Reid and Heywood made no application for bail when they appeared via videolink from Tamworth Correctional Centre.

Green is facing 12 offences, including supplying a prohibited drug more than an indictable quantity, supplying on an ongoing basis and six firearms offences.

Solicitor Jason Curtis argued Green had close ties to the community and worked as a labourer, and could report to police every day if released on bail.

However, Magistrate Roger Prowse said the protection of the community outweighed any entitlement to freedom.

“It’s a very strong case ... consistent with observations and intercepts,” he said.

The arrests follow a three month investigation by detectives attached to Strike Force Jenning – a taskforce set up to investigate the supply of drugs in Tamworth.

Detectives will allege they discovered tens of thousands of dollars worth of drugs, cash, firearms, a taser and explosives during the co-ordinated raids. 

Boucher is facing drugs charges as well as one count of accessing child pornography and possessing child abuse material.

Magistrate Prowse rejected a submission for Boucher to be released on bail despite a clause that he would not use a mobile phone or computer.

“The protection of the public is an overwhelming factor,” he said. 

The Crown will rely on physical surveillance as well as telephone intercepts in their case against the four men.

All four are facing one count of supplying a prohibited drug on an ongoing basis – a charge that carries up to 25 years in prison. The case returns to court on February 26.

A woman, the fifth to be charged in relation to the investigation, remains on bail to front court later this month.

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