ONE of the men at the centre of the Tamworth 'ice castle' sting has admitted to firing a shotgun and dealing a commercial quantity of the drug ice.
It's been the police case since the start that Luke Anthony Downs was one of the main men in the ice dealing ring.
Strike Force Radius investigators were tracking him in late-2018 and early-2019 when they discovered he was also involved in serious firearm crime.
Downs appeared via video link in Tamworth Local Court from prison where he has been held since February last year on 27 different charges.
He now faces up to 20 years' behind bars after admitting to supplying more than a commercial quantity of the drug ice. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of intimidation; and firing a firearm onto inclosed lands.
Offences of possessing drugs; acquiring a firearm as well as ammunition while subject to a prohibition order; supplying drugs; and using an unauthorised firearm will also be dealt with on sentencing for the other charges.
During the court hearing, prosecutors dropped 16 charges against him including allegations of sending a document threatening death or grievous bodily harm; using a carriage service to threaten to kill; supplying drugs; firing a firearm into a building; damaging property; and stealing a car.
Downs was first arrested in February 2019 and has been behind bars since. Police had maintained he was an upper-level suppler, who controlled a network of other dealers.
Downs is the subject of a firearms prohibition order which bans him from owning, using or possessing a gun or ammunition.
Police had maintained the then 27-year-old had armed himself with a shotgun and fired at a car in Goonoo Goonoo Road in Tamworth early last year after a dispute over a drug debt.
When the Leader revealed his charges last year, detectives had claimed he was involved in dealing tens of thousands of dealers worth of the drug ice.
In court, magistrate Julie Soars committed Downs for sentence to the district court in Tamworth. He'll face an arraignment hearing in August where he will formally enter the pleas.
He remains bail refused ahead of sentencing.