Man faces court after police detect drug lab

ONE man has been charged and specialist police called in after detectives uncovered a sophisticated drug lab near Tenterfield.

Paul John Cramp, 35, remains behind bars accused of manufacturing drugs after he failed in his bid to be released on bail yesterday  following the raids.

Amphetamines, cannabis, drug equipment and glassware were discovered in the Gladstone St home at Jennings just before 4pm on Tuesday after police came knocking.

Glen Innes detectives, backed by Tenterfield police, raided the home and arrested the 35-year-old at the scene who they will allege was manufacturing drugs and also exposing it to children in the home.

New England Inspector Rowan O’Brien said the home remained under guard until yesterday to allow specialist forensic and scientific officers from Sydney to comb the home.

“Police seized an amount of precursor chemicals, as well as equipment such as glassware,” Inspector Rowan told The Leader.

Cramp is facing two charges but police haven’t ruled out laying further charges after drugs were found at the scene.

Inspector O’Brien said it was a sophisticated set-up and consequently they were serious charges.

“The volatile nature of some of the chemicals and the danger they pose if anyone is exposed (is high),” he said.

“But not only that, the fact they can be inadvertently inhaled by anyone else in that residence, especially children, is very serious.”

Cramp was led into the dock of Armidale Local Court yesterday in a blue police suit after his clothes were seized for forensic testing.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jim McDonald said officers will allege Cramp made “full admissions” to the offences. 

“It’s a strong prosecution case,” he said.

Sergeant McDonald said Cramp, who lives close to the border, was a flight risk into Queensland.

“They are serious matters,” he said.

“At the residence ... two children, aged 11 and three, aggravates the situation.”

But solicitor Chelsea Schaefer said her client could not work and his ex-partner was caring for him while he awaits surgery.

“He has three ruptured discs in his lower back, two deteriorating discs,” she said.

“The commission of this alleged offence is serious ... neither of the children or his ex-partner were present at the time.”

Magistrate Karen Stafford said she had to refuse bail.

“The Crown case looks very strong on the evidence,” she said.

“It gives a strong reason for you to go to Queensland and not to come to court.”

The case has been adjourned to March 5.

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