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Father busted for trafficking drugs bursts in tears

David Mark Tony Elvis Sutherland, 25, is facing 37 charges in relation to drugs including trafficking and supply.
David Mark Tony Elvis Sutherland, 25, is facing 37 charges in relation to drugs including trafficking and supply. Facebook

HE BURST in to tears when the magistrate announced she was granting his bail.

David Mark Tony Elvis Sutherland, 25, appeared in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday for a bail application after he was charged with 37 offences.

Sutherland was one of six charged and had matters in Rockhampton court as a result of Operation Papa Skobeloff which started in November 2016 by Emerald CIB with the intention of targeting a syndicate believed to be responsible for the supply and distribution of drugs in the Central Highlands area.

His lawyer, Rowan King, said Sutherland had quit using drugs when he received full-time custody of his three-year-old daughter, who had been cared for by a relative in a motel room since Sutherland's arrest after a search warrant executed on his residence on November 1.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Ongheen said items located at Sutherland's residence during the search - the used utensils - was indicative of continuous drug use.

He said the charges were laid as a result of communication intercepts between Sutherland and co-accused Michael Winbank including allegations Sutherland sought ice from Winbank, Sutherland supplied methamphetamines to Winbank, a discussion about drug debt and Sutherland seeking ice from Winbank which he then supplied to another co-accused - Alfred Charles Canham.

On one occasion, Sutherland allegedly offered to supply Winbank with cannabis and on another, Sutherland sourced on point from Winbank for coaccused Amanda De-Anne Jarick.

Sutherland also allegedly purchased an eight ball of meth for Winbank.

Sgt Ongheen said police objected to bail on the grounds of Sutherland's alleged offending, as well as his criminal history which included dangerous drug possession and a failure to appear which police suggested made Sutherland an unacceptable risk of reoffending and failing to appear.

Mr King presented the court with a bail address that was with Sutherland's parents in Blackwater with the parent's willing to take in both the accused and his daughter.

"The offending period was at a time when he was a drug dependant person," he said.

Mr King said Sutherland had quit drugs in July and had taken full-time custody of his three-year-old daughter.

He highlighted that Sutherland received a two-year good behaviour bond in the Bundaberg court for the last drug charge on his criminal history.

Sutherland had been charged with one count of trafficking, one of possessing used utensils, one of possessing an item used in the commission of a crime and 34 counts of supplying a dangerous drug.

Magistrate Catherine Benson agreed with police the utensils found during the search was indicative of ongoing drug use.

Magistrate Benson granted him bail on the conditions that he submits to random drug testing, adheres to a curfew and reports regularly to police.

Topics:  cannabis central highlands drugs emerald methamphetamines rockhampton magistrates court trafficking


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