Duo to fight drug charges
Saturday, 30th November, 2013
Two Sydney men who were allegedly caught with methamphetamines, heroin and nearly in $22,000 in cash will fight the charges against them, the Local Court was told yesterday.
Hai Hoang Le (32) and Minh Truong Bui (46) were arrested on Monday night after police stopped their car near a service station on the Sturt Highway in Buronga.
Police said they found some drugs on them and took their car to the Dareton police station were it was searched the next day.
On opening the bonnet of the Toyota Corolla, officers said they noticed that the air filter box had been tampered with and looking inside it they allegedly found a cloth bag.
Inside the bag were three plastic bags containing a total of 100.5 grams of “ice”, or methamphetamines, police said.
Two plastic tubes holding 24.5 grams of powder, later identified as heroin, were also found in the bag, they said.
Bui, who was driving the car, had $3000 on him and his passenger, Le, had $18,715, the police said.
Both men were charged with possessing and supplying prohibited drugs, and dealing with property suspected of being the proceeds of crime. Bui was also charged with driving without a licence.
They were refused bail and transferred to jail in Broken Hill where they faced court yesterday with a Vietnamese interpreter.
Their lawyer, Wes Burton, told Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy that his clients pleaded not guilty to all charges and were applying to be released on bail.
Each “denies any involvement in these matters”, Mr Burton said, and if given bail would return to Sydney to live with their family.
Le said he was a baker from Lakemba and Bui lived in Marrickville, he said.
However, because neither of them was able to get access to their mobile phones, Mr Burton said he was unable to verify this information.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Brad Scanlan told the court the accused appeared to be involved in a “well-organised drug operation” and given the likelihood that they would be jailed if convicted, granting them bail could tempt them to flee.
In addition, Bui’s criminal record showed that he had breached bail before and that an arrest warrant had to be issued.
Magistrate Dunlevy refused bail, describing the allegations against the men as “very serious”, and adjourned the matter to January 21.