A TAMWORTH man is set to fight a charge he supplied hundreds of ecstasy tablets when his case heads to trial.
Dylan Rutter appeared in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday, flanked by family, charged with the commercial supply of MDMA and elected to head straight to trial.
Detectives allege Rutter supplied 350 MDMA tablets between mid-August and early-December in 2017 in Calala.
Rutter’s defence declined to test the evidence at a contested committal hearing with solicitor Peter Schmidt instead tendering a signed waiver of committal for his client to stand trial in front of a jury.
Rutter did not formally enter a not guilty plea, which is expected at an arraignment in September in Tamworth District Court.
But Rutter is unlikely to have his case heard before late-2019 with trial dates full for much of next year.
If convicted of the charge, Rutter faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.
“I order that the defendant Dylan Rutter be committed for trial at the district court at Tamworth,” magistrate Julie Soars told the court.
“I direct bail to continue.”
Co-accused Matthew Raymond Hill also appeared in court, supported by family, on four charges.
Hill is accused of supplying 14g of the drug cocaine in the Tamworth area between September 27 and November 17, last year.
Hill is also accused of possessing cocaine and self-administering it on two occasions last year after police surveillance allegedly caught him consuming the prohibited drug in Calala.
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Solicitor Greg Birtles said he had “made representations” to the DPP, with more time needed to consider the case.
“Negotiations that just have to be finalised,” DPP solicitor Cat McKay told the court.
The case will return to court later this month.
“Bail to continue for further negotiations,” Ms Soars told the court.
Two men – Mark McDonald and Nicholas Hansen – charged by the same strike force have already pleaded guilty to drug supply charges.
McDonald – the first to be arrested by detectives from Strike Force Kotza – remains behind bars and will front court for sentencing in the district court this month.
McDonald pleaded guilty to five charges including supplying cocaine, amphetamine as well as the drug 3, 4 methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine, a type of MDMA or ecstasy.
He also admitted to dealing with proceeds of crime, namely $7440 in cash.
Hansen, who has admitted to supplying 17.5g of MDMA or ecstasy as it’s commonly known, will also appear in the same court but remains on conditional bail.