Operation Lima Avanti and Operation Mike Apex
In April 2013, the Moreton Police District commenced Operation Lima Avanti targeting trafficking in the dangerous drug methylamphetamine. Telecommunication interceptions were utilised to identify persons supplying methylamphetamine to customers. Also, in April 2013, Operation Mike Apex was commenced investigating trafficking activities of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs targeting trafficking in methylamphetamine and other drugs both interstate and throughout Queensland. These operations were combined in April 2014 given that suppliers identified in the separate operations were linked.
Our client was alleged to have been a member of the Lone Wolves and Nomads, criminal organisations declared by regulation. Our client was detected through telephone intercept mechanisms and in December 2015 was charged with the serious offence of Trafficking in a dangerous drug as a vicious lawless associate. Trafficking in dangerous drugs carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. Further under the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013 if our client was convicted as a vicious lawless associate, he would in addition face a further sentence of 15 years imprisonment wholly served in a correctional services facility.
The Crown alleged that our client engaged in carrying on the business of unlawfully trafficking in the Schedule 1 drug methylamphetamine for a 15-month period, selling up to an ounce of methylamphetamine a week.
Following extensive negotiations, the allegation that our client was a Vicious Lawless associate was removed by the DPP.
The primary evidence against our client of the offence of trafficking was based on the statement of a co-offender. We applied for a Basha hearing of the witness. He came to Court and while subject to cross examination by Tracy Thorp of counsel, retracted his evidence of the majority of our client’s involvement.
Our office continued negotiations with the DPP which ultimately resulted in the charge of trafficking being discontinued in lieu of one count of supplying a dangerous drug (1 ounce of methylamphetamine) and one count of being a party to supplying a dangerous drug (498.8 grams of methylamphetamine). Following the charges and the factual basis being agreed upon, the matter was then listed for sentence before the Brisbane Supreme Court.
Alan Phillips of our office appeared instructing Tracy Thorp of Counsel for our client’s sentence before the Brisbane Supreme Court. Our client was sentenced to a head sentence of 6 years imprisonment with a parole eligibility date fixed after serving 18 months imprisonment. Our client was appreciative for the excellent outcome, as he was initially facing decades of imprisonment.