A MAN accused of being involved in an alleged illegal drug supply ring in Tamworth, dubbed the "ice castle", will travel up from Victoria next month for his court case, after it was delayed last year by border closures.
Peter Trompa is accused of crimes alleged to have taken place in Tamworth, but was granted bail to live in Victoria and has been unable to return to the city for his court dates due to COVID-19 border restrictions.
Trompa's Legal Aid solicitor Rae Parker said the matter was back before the court on Wednesday to "see what the borders were like between NSW and Victoria", before a sentencing hearing could be set.
Trompa was excused from showing up to Tamworth Local Court, but magistrate Julie Soars ordered him to appear in person on the next occasion.
"Bail to continue and Mr Trompa is to attend," Ms Soars said.
Ms Parker said there needed to be a discussion between herself and the DPP prosecutor about whether what the Tamworth man is accused of crossed the Section 5 threshold, which dictates whether he could serve a full-time prison sentence.
"I'm saying it doesn't, so we need to have that argument and we need to have it in Mr Trompa's presence," Ms Parker told the court.
Trompa is facing charges of conspiracy to commit offence of supplying a firearm to someone unauthorised to possess it; and the supply of more than an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug.
Court records show Trompa pleaded guilty to both charges in May last year, but sentencing has been delayed by his inability to get into NSW.
The Tamworth man is accused of being involved in what's been dubbed the Tamworth "ice castle", an alleged drug and gun supply ring, which police claim was operating out of a Petra Avenue housing commission unit.
Ms Soars said she would adjourn the case until late February, in the hope of getting a clearer picture of what is happening with state borders as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
"I'm not sure what the borders are doing either, so as things go along and things are going well, it will be more certain by then," she said.
Trompa's case is set to go back before Tamworth Local Court on February 22, and Trompa will be required to appear.
He was arrested in 2019 as part of Strike Force Radius, a 10-month investigation by Oxley Police District detectives with the Oxley Target Action Group in one of the biggest sting operations the region has seen.
Trompa is one of a group of about 20 men and women arrested by Strike Force Radius detectives across Tamworth, Sydney, the Central Coast and Dubbo.
Police alleged the "iced castle" was used as a base to supply drugs across Tamworth, and as far as Victoria.