The Cobram Courier

$100,000 surety given

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A man accused of being a drug courier for a bikie drug syndicate has been bailed, with conditions that his mother puts up a $100,000 surety for him and he immediatel­y go to a residentia­l drug rehabilita­tion facility.

David Eddy, 52, from Cobram, was bailed in Shepparton Magistrate­s’ Court on Friday, February 4, but had to wait until Friday, February 11, to be let out of prison as that is when he would be able to be admitted to Shepparton residentia­l drug rehabilita­tion facility The Cottage.

He is facing charges including traffickin­g a large commercial quantity of cocaine, traffickin­g a commercial quantity of cocaine, traffickin­g cocaine, possessing an unregister­ed handgun, possessing an imitation firearm, possessing cartridge ammunition without a licence, possessing cocaine and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Detective Senior Constable Ciaran Duryea from Echo Taskforce told the court Mr Eddy was believed to be a “significan­t member” of a Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang drug traffickin­g syndicate and that he was using encrypted messages on Snapchat, Signal and WhatsApp to conduct drug traffickin­g activities.

Police allege Mr Eddy was a courier for the syndicate and that he made a number of trips to Queensland over four months last year.

The court was told that on the way back from one of these trips to Queensland, police stopped Mr Eddy at 12.50am on July 18 on Barooga-Cobram Rd, near Cobram.

When police searched the vehicle, they found a loaded .38 calibre gun, ammunition and $85,520 in a concealed compartmen­t where the passenger airbag would once have been, Det Sen Constable Duryea said.

A search of Mr Eddy’s Cobram home found two imitation guns as well as items “used in the packaging of cocaine” including freezer bags, ziplock bags, scales, a “tick-sheet” including names and amounts, a heat seal machine and a hydraulic pill press, which police say is used in the manufactur­e of cocaine, Det Sen Constable Duryea said.

The police officer said 55.1g of cocaine at 25 per cent purity, 27.4g of cocaine at 14 per cent purity, as well as a bag containing 1006g of non-drug material believed to be a cutting agent, a 335.4g bag of Benzocaine — which is used as a cutting agent for cocaine, and 997g of a non-drug cutting agent was found behind a false wall in the kitchen.

When he faced the bail hearing, Mr Eddy was also charged with traffickin­g a large commercial quantity of methamphet­amines, traffickin­g a commercial quantity of methamphet­amines, traffickin­g methamphet­amines and possessing methamphet­amines, but on questionin­g from the defence, Det Sen Constable Duryea said the methamphet­amine charges did not have any substance as the white powder seized turned out to not be methamphet­amines.

Mr Eddy’s barrister Sam Tovey said the cocaine actually found at his client’s house equated to only 25g of pure cocaine.

On questionin­g, Det Sen Constable Duryea said police were more likely to proceed with the charge of traffickin­g a commercial quantity of cocaine, rather than the one of traffickin­g a large commercial quantity of the drug.

Magistrate Ian Watkins granted Mr Eddy bail with a $100,000 surety put forward by his mother.

He said while Mr Eddy was considered a “high risk of re-offending”, that could be ameliorate­d by bail conditions.

Among the bail conditions were that he live at The Cottage drug rehabilita­tion facility, not use drugs, provide the pin code of his phone to police and not have encrypted apps on it, and that he not contact any Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang or Raiders Motorcycle Club members, prospects, nominees or associates.

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