Warren Barry Ayre fronts Tamworth court on Strike Force Burril drugs charges

Warren Barry Ayre.

Warren Barry Ayre.

Police have frozen the bank accounts of one of the men accused of being the ringleader of an alleged drug ring operating near Gunnedah.

Warren Barry Ayre appeared via video link in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday afternoon from Goulburn Correctional Centre where he has been held since he was charged by Oxley detectives, last month.

Ayre, who lives in Quipolly but was arrested by police in Nowra in September, is charged with conspiring to manufacture a commercial quantity of drugs between June 6 and August 31, this year, at Quipolly.

He’s also charged with two counts of supplying cannabis, dealing with the proceeds of crime, namely a Toyota Landcruiser, and contravening an AVO.

Ayre appeared in the Tamworth court for the first time on Wednesday after the matter was transferred to link up with his co-accused, Robbin King, who remains bail refused.

Ayre represented himself and said he had spoken to one solicitor who represented him on a previous occasion.

He said that solicitor had received part of the brief of evidence from detectives, but he was yet to receive it in prison.

“Any chance I can ask for the audio tapes from the crown … we didn’t receive them,” he told the court.

Mr Ayre also tried to have his bank accounts, which were frozen by police, overturned.

“I would like to lodge an appeal against the frozen bank accounts,” he told the court.

Rolling raids: Strike Force Burril police, pictured here in Gunnedah, raid a home as part of the operation on August 31. Photo: Vanessa Honke

Rolling raids: Strike Force Burril police, pictured here in Gunnedah, raid a home as part of the operation on August 31. Photo: Vanessa Honke

“I don’t have any paperwork … there is nothing here in this paperwork,” Magistrate Roger Prowse replied, telling him he would need to lodge a separate application or speak with a solicitor.

The court heard the brief of evidence was extensive and officers were granted extra time to serve it before the case returns to court in November.

“Thank you Your Honour,” Ayre said.

“We won’t be applying for bail.”

Co-accused King, who is also charged with manufacturing a commercial quantity of drugs, did not appear via video link when his case was called but the DPP asked for more time to compile the evidence.

“There is a partial brief that has been served,” DPP solicitor Mark Ferguson told the court, adding there was numerous items needed.

“Substantial items outstanding … they include telephone intercepts, transcripts.”

King made no application for bail and the case was adjourned to November.

The operation, code-named Strike Force Burril, has seen seven people arrested and charged with guns and drug offences stretching from Gunnedah to Quipolly, Werris Creek and down to Lake Macquarie and the Illawarra.

During a series of rolling police raids in Quipolly, Werris Creek, Spring Ridge, Mullaley, Gunnedah and Lake Macquarie and the Illawarra areas, 38 guns,  silencers, cannabis, ice and a grenade were seized.

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