It smacks of a truckload of drugs

By DARREN COYNE

A MAN allegedly involved in the attempted sale of $85,000 worth of heroin to an undercover police officer was yesterday refused bail in the Lismore Local Court.

Steven Gary Black, 33, unemployed, of Crystal Creek, appeared in court charged with supplying a commercial quantity of heroin, and using an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

Supply charges against his co-accused, Graham James Ogle, 48, and Christine Hammond, 44, of Nimbin, were mentioned and adjourned to February 14.

They remain in custody.

The three were arrested last Friday at Chinderah following an operation by NSW Police, Drug Squad and State Crime Command officers.

Operation Val, set up to target heroin suppliers in the Northern NSW region, involved extensive phone taps, surveillance and undercover officers.

According to police facts tended yesterday, Black, Ogle and Hammond were allegedly involved in the attempted supply of 283 grams (10 ounces) of heroin last Thursday and Friday.

The trio allegedly went to a park at Chinderah where they were to meet two Queensland men.

Following a disagreement about where the deal was to take place, police swooped in both marked and unmarked vehicles on the park, and an address where the heroin allegedly had been stored, although the drugs were not there when police searched the premises.

Once arrested, Black allegedly told police he was aware he was involved in a drug deal, but thought it revolved around $8000 of cannabis.

The court heard, however, telephone intercepts indicated that Black had lengthy and detailed conversations with Ogle regarding the supply of 10 'truckloads' (their codename for ounces) of heroin.

Black's bail application was refused by magistrate Elaine Jacobs and the case was adjourned to February 22.



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