Bikie to face court on drug, firearm charges
By Alex Easton
ACCORDING to police, Philip Bruce Wheatley is a very busy man.
Wheatley, 47 of North Lismore, appeared at Lismore Local Court yesterday charged with 29 drug supply and firearm offences allegedly committed between September last year and Thursday afternoon.
Appearing in a dark green sloppy Joe and with wild ginger hair and beard, Wheatley was the last of three alleged Lone Wolf bikie gang members and one of two senior members to front Lismore Local Court after Thursday's raids at Uralba and Terania Streets in Lismore, and at Bungawalbin.
Simultaneous raids in Sydney resulted in another four arrests. Two of those men were charged and the other two released 'pending further investigations', a police spokesperson said.
The dramatic raids involved more than 100, in some cases heavily armed, police storming buildings in the two cities. At an alleged%fortified drug house in Lismore, police started the raids by tearing an iron gate from the house.
In charges presented to the court yesterday, Wheatley is accused of selling amphetamines on 20 occasions between September and Thursday, and of possessing an unregistered Magnum .357 revolver which had its serial number defaced and was stored in an unsafe manner.
As a drug dealer, Wheatley is alleged to have had some busy days. Once police have evidence of someone supplying drugs on three or more occasions over 30 consecutive days, they are able to charge them with the more serious offence of supplying on an ongoing basis.
They levelled that charge at Wheatley five times. One of the charges relates to a single day, on November 30 last year, when Wheatley is accused of having sold amphetamines on four separate occasions.
His next best day, according to the list of charges, was on Thursday, when police allege he sold two packages of amphetamines and one of cannabis.
Richmond Local Area Commander, Superintendent Bruce Lyons, this week said the Lone Wolf bikie gang had been 'dominant in the supply of ecstasy and amphetamines' on the Northern Rivers.
Wheatley did not apply for bail yesterday, but his lawyer, Vincent Boss, told the court he may apply when he returns to court next week.
Mr Boss raised concerns about the jail system's ability to care for his client's frail health, saying that Wheatley suffered from a heart condition, diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome.
He was remanded in custody to appear at Lismore Local Court on Monday.