AN 18-YEAR-OLD woman accused of supplying 277 ecstasy pills in the Tamworth and Armidale areas has been denied bail.
Stephanie Lorraine Jackson dropped her head after she was refused bail in Tamworth Local Court on commercial drug supply.
It's the teenager's first time in custody, after her arrest on Thursday in Tamworth by police from the Target Action Group, working as part of Strike Force Heyward.
Solicitor Thomas Payne had attempted to overcome the show-cause hurdle on why Jackson's detention was not justified.
Mr Payne said her involvement in the alleged drug ring was said to be "mid- to high-range in the scale of offending", but he argued "there is doubt over the quantity involved".
"There is doubt around the actual weight," he told the court.
"The facts are quite broad."
Mr Payne said "the drug supply is over the commercial quantity" and the matter "won't resolve quickly, given the size of the operation", arguing his client "could spend a considerable time in custody".
He said there could be a "drastic decrease in the charges that could be laid, or agreed upon", which could mean the commercial supply allegation is reduced to indictable supply.
He said that would overcome the show-cause hurdle, because it is a lesser offence.
The court heard Jackson was in full-time employment in Tamworth with a machinery company.
Magistrate Julie Soars said it was alleged 277 pills had been supplied; and "perhaps [it] would suggest a longstanding problem, even though she is only 18 years old".
Police prosecutor Sergeant Rob Baillie said that, despite Jackson's youth, "delays are inevitable" in serious court cases; and there was a large quantity involved. He argued show-cause had not been made out.
"She's a young woman facing serious drug supply charges," Ms Soars said, telling the court there was no cause for release.
"It's a strong case."
Jackson will remain in custody while police prepare a brief of evidence. The case will return to court in February.
Jackson was the ninth arrest by Strike Force Heyward, which has been investigating cocaine and ecstasy supply in and around the Tamworth pub and club scene.