Shepparton News

Jailed for five months



A man with links to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang who was involved with allegedly selling drugs to undercover police officers, assaults on strangers, and possessing a live hand grenade, has been sent to jail for five months.

Lausei Asiata, 22, of Kialla, pleaded guilty to two counts of traffickin­g a drug of dependence, two of traffickin­g cocaine, possess cartridge ammunition without a licence, possessing an explosive substance, intentiona­lly causing injury, affray, unlawful assault and being a prohibited person possessing a firearm.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis, dealing with property suspected to be the proceeds of crime, three counts of committing an indictable offence on bail, two counts of contraveni­ng a bail condition, failing to comply with a direction to assist and entering a private place without authorisat­ion.

Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Fiona Kennedy told the court a Murchison caravan park had to be evacuated on November 20, 2019, after police found a live hand grenade in a search of Asiata’s room.

The military was called in to make the hand grenade safe.

Police also found 478 g of cannabis, 162 g of amphetamin­es, 500 g of Xanax tablets and multiple cartridge ammunition rounds during the search.

The court heard how in a separate incident three days earlier, Asiata punched a man in the head while he was waiting at a Shepparton taxi rank at 4 am.

When another person intervened, Asiata and two other men punched the second man before the group slammed him into a car and ran away.

When the man followed them, Asiata knocked him unconsciou­s with a coward’s punch to the jaw.

Leading Sen Constable Kennedy also told the court that in yet another incident, on Christmas Eve last year, Asiata’s friend and National Australia Bank employee Kuol Kuol transferre­d $5000 from a 95-year-old Kyabram man’s bank account into Asiata’s bank account.

Asiata then transferre­d $999 of this into a third man’s bank account.

The court was told on June 21 this year, Asiata and two other men — one of whom was the man into whose bank account he had transferre­d money — went to sell drugs to two undercover police officers at Seymour.

One of the men sold 83.8 g of cocaine to the police officers for $21,900, as well as selling them a sawn-off double-barrel shotgun — which Asiata was holding.

On July 4, the man who sold the drugs to the undercover police officers in June, Asiata and another man again met with the officers in Seymour and sold them 112.1 g of cocaine for $29,200.

Asiata’s solicitor Kymberley Skillen told the court her client, who moved to Australia aged 13 or 14, had been “mixing with negative peer groups” and wanted to move back to Brisbane.

She said Asiata had started using cannabis and cocaine at the age of 14 after moving to Australia.

Asiata was sentenced to five months in prison, with the 66 days of pre-sentence detention counting as time already served.

Asiata was also fined $400 for possessing cannabis and ordered to pay $5000 in compensati­on for the money taken from the Kyabram man’s bank account.

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