Defendant’s bizarre claim after $4m coke bust


A Buderim man allegedly busted with $4 million of cocaine at a Gold Coast border checkpoint has been freed on bail after claims he thought the drug was baking powder.

Disabled support worker Bryce Watson, 26, was one of two men charged with drug possession after almost 9kg of coke was allegedly found during a checkpoint vehicle intercept last Friday.

Watson's co-accused, Trent Atkinson, 31, of Logan, was remanded in custody but Watson applied for bail.

Southport Magistrates Court heard that Atkinson allegedly told police: "I had jobs to do and that was to get across over the border."

Watson did not appear in person in court but by phone from an isolation cell in Southport watch-house.

Southport Magistrates Court was told that Watson was the passenger in the vehicle and police found a baking powder container with about 200 grams of cocaine as well as ecstasy tablets and cannabis.

Another 8176 grams was found in the boot of the vehicle, police prosecutor Senior-Constable Dave Shelton told the court.

He said Watson should be refused bail for his own protection.

Defence lawyer James Grehan said Watson was 'surprised' about the 200 grams of white powder as he thought it was 'only baking powder'.

Mr Grehan said Watson had no criminal history, was 'simply a passenger' in the vehicle and there was no evidence linking him to the larger quantity of cocaine.

"Atkinson was the one who police were aware of," he said.

"There was intelligence that Atkinson was involved in transporting cocaine.

"There is no evidence that he (Watson) knew what the other person (Atkinson) was doing. There is no police intelligence about my client."

Magistrate Michelle Dooley granted Watson bail on condition he live with his parents, report to police weekly and have no contact with Atkinson 'in any way'.

Watson and Atkinson will both reappear in court on November 10.






Originally published as Defendant's bizarre claim after $4m coke bust

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