TASMANIAN bikies accused of importing $10 million worth of speed into Queensland from the UK eluded the state’s tough anti-gang regime because their alleged crimes break Commonwealth law.
However a fate worse than VLAD potentially awaits the Rebels bikies, who face life sentences if convicted over a racket that allegedly used murky non-bank money transfers in a bid to make big profits on cheap English amphetamines.
Jed Leggett, 25, a welder who lives in a Carrara caravan park, was the alleged Queensland receiver of 4kg of speed sent by courier in two packages from Liverpool in the UK to Brisbane.
Facebook image of Tasmanian Rebels bikie member Jyden Kirkpatrick.
Jyden Kirkpatrick, 27, a personal trainer, is the alleged organiser of a ring the Australian Crime Commission claims paid $194,000 for speed worth $20 million on Australian streets.
Police claim the pair recently moved to the Gold Coast where they went “under the radar” while planning to mail the speed on to Tasmania, where both are members of the Eastern Shore Rebels chapter.
The ACC uncovered the alleged drug plot in April as part of its investigations of the “alternative remittance sector”, used by organised crime groups to bypass banks and avoid scrutiny when sending money offshore.
Queensland’s tough bail provisions, which automatically keep bikies behind bars unless they can “show cause” for their release, did not apply when the pair appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday because importing drugs is a Commonwealth offence.
Facebook image of Tasmanian Rebels bikie member Jed Leggett.
Leggett was freed on bail but Kirkpatrick was remanded in custody until August 5.
It follows the granting of bail to Bandidos sergeant-at-arms Chris “Chubbs” Barrett on riot charges on Monday, when “show cause” did not apply because the alleged offence took place before bikie laws came in.
Detective Superintendent Mick Niland said importing was the right charge because there was no evidence Kirkpatrick and Leggett were trafficking in Queensland. Here the crime would trigger a mandatory extra 15 years’ punishment under VLAD (the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act).
Fellow Rebels Ryan Zmendack and Nick Stebbens also face importing charges over another 4kg of speed sent to Tasmania from Liverpool. The drugs were allegedly packaged by a 27-year-old man from Kidderminster, who was arrested and allegedly had phones, heat-sealing machines and foil packaging when seized.
Some of the drug haul imported by courier from Liverpool in the UK.
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