Alleged supplier could face life

A BYRON BAY businessman who police allege is a "major player" in a North Coast ecstasy ring could face life imprisonment.

Adam Brown, 36, of Newrybar faced Lismore Local Court yesterday on six charges including supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug which brings a sentence of life in prison if convicted.

The court heard police had considerable intelligence on Brown, who was in the last week of a good behaviour bond when he was arrested, including phone intercepts, recordings from listening devices and surveillance evidence.

The police allege over the last three months Brown has conducted at least six significant ecstasy transactions of up to 858g at Ballina, Lennox Head, Suffolk Park and Newrybar.

Brown, who was arrested on Friday was initially refused bail after police "investigations in the matter found that he is a major player in the supply of MDMA in the area," police facts stated.

The court heard Brown, a qualified chef, who owns Byron Bay Boardracks and an online gift business, recently signed a contract to start work on September 10 as the manager of a new restaurant at Byron Bay.

In applying for bail, Brown's solicitor argued the "effect of his incarceration is catastrophic on his two businesses" and said his client was not a major player in the supply of MDMA as police alleged.

The solicitor said Brown's mother had agreed to lodge her superannuation, which was in a term deposit, as security if her son was granted bail.

But Magistrate R Denes refused bail citing a strong prosecution case and the possibility of life imprisonment.

"It is a strong prosecution case and if convicted he would face a sentence where the starting point is a life sentence," she said.

She ordered the brief of evidence to be served by October 2, and adjourned the matter until October 16 at Lismore Local Court.

Ms Denes ordered Corrective Services to put Brown on a vegetarian diet because of chicken allergy.

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