THREE men charged in connection to an alleged drug and firearms ring have had their cases adjourned with the court told expert evidence could take up to two months to serve.
Warren Barry Ayre is being held in custody in Goulburn Correctional Centre on charges including attempting to manufacture a large commercial quantity of methamphetamine, or ice, supplying drugs including cannabis, and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime with intent to conceal it.
The 44-year-old from Quipolly was one of several arrested earlier this year by police from an operation, code-named Strike Force Burril.
He appeared via video link in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday where the court was told he had engaged a new solicitor, and had received the brief of evidence.
“Mr Frazer sent it to me when I was in Parklea and the funds have run out so Legal Aid have taken it over,” he said.
DPP solicitor Mark Ferguson said there were a number of outstanding items including forensic analysis of fingerprints on goods seized, and expert statements as well as a firearms certificate.
“Transcripts of telephone intercepts, a scene of crime statement,” he told the court, adding a specialist forensic analysis report from the laboratory was also required.
“I’m told the receipt of those is some two months away.”
Ayre, who has been in custody since his arrest in Nowra in early-September, said he wanted the matter dealt with as quickly as possible and agreed to a January adjournment.
“Please yes, that’s what we want, not further delays, so we can’t get on with it,” he said.
New solicitor Greg Birtles said he had only just come into the matter and needed to obtain a copy of the brief.
“It was a matter that Legal Aid assigned to me,” he said.
“Mr Ayre tells me he’s got [the brief], but I don’t have it.”
The undercover operation, code named Strike Force Burril, unfolded with eight raids in two days, and was set up in May to investigate the supply of firearms and illegal drugs across the Oxley Command.
In a series of rolling raids across Werris Creek, Quipolly, Gunnedah, Spring Ridge, Woolongong and Lake Macquarie, 38 firearms, as well as a silencer, fireworks and drugs were seized.
Co-accused Robbin John King did not appear in court from jail when his case was called, but solicitor Ben Curnow consented to an adjournment because of fresh charges.
Detectives laid two fresh counts in court of supplying an unregistered firearm and supplying a prohibited drug.
He is yet to enter pleas to charges that he supplied a Remington 12-gauge shotgun to an unauthorised person on August 1 at Quipolly, manufacturing or producing 2.2kg of cannabis at Quipolly and taking part in the supply of cannabis between June and August.
Another co-accused, Aiden Neil John Tranter , appeared in court where the DPP said more time was needed to serve outstanding evidence including a report on alleged DNA found on firearms, as well as time to “allow the parties to finalise negotiations”.
He remains on conditional bail.