‘Safe keeper’ of drugs pleads guilty

Pilbara News - - News - Shan­non Hamp­ton

A Leed­erville man whose ar­rest on a yacht near the Mon­te­bello Is­lands last year led to the un­rav­el­ling of a $20 mil­lion drug syn­di­cate pleaded guilty to a string of charges in the Perth District Court on Septem­ber 8.

Joshua Ray­mond Gaskell, 34, ad­mit­ted pos­sess­ing, with in­tent to sell or sup­ply, 20.9kg of metham­phetamine and $569,000 in cash, which was un­cov­ered by WA anti-gangs squad of­fi­cers in an Os­borne Park stor­age unit after his ar­rest off the north­west coast last Au­gust.

Gaskell also pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing two guns and am­mu­ni­tion found in the stor­age unit, and a fur­ther $40,000 found at a Leed­erville prop­erty.

Lawyer Sanella Nau­movski said her client pleaded guilty to the charges on the ba­sis he was “act­ing as a safe keeper” for the money, weapons and drugs.

Ms Nau­movski said the mat­ter would need to go to a trial of is­sues be­fore Gaskell was sen­tenced.

How­ever, prose­cu­tor Laura Chris­tian said the State did not ac­cept Gaskell was sim­ply act­ing as a safe keeper given the quan­tity of drugs in­volved.

Gaskell’s trial of is­sues is ex­pected to be listed later this year. The court heard an­other two men were due to face trial in Novem­ber over the seizure.

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