Key member of Lismore drug gang refused bail

A WEST Ballina woman accused of being a member of a drug syndicate supplying heroin and amphetamines to the Far North Coast and South Coast of NSW was refused bail in Lismore Local Court yesterday.

Annette Lloyd, 44, has been in custody since her arrest on August 23 this year and is charged with two counts of suppling prohibited drugs in commercial quantities.

Lloyd allegedly committed the offences over a 12-month period from September 1 last year.

On the same day as Lloyd's arrest, four other people were arrested as the culmination of a 12-month police investigation called Strike Force Tonkie.

Also arrested were Maree Vera Collier, 47, of Lambton in Newcastle, Paul Mathew Sweeney, 40, of Woodburn, Gregory Paul Collier, 57, and his daughter Shannon Collier, 18, both of St Helens Park in Sydney.

Maree Collier is accused of the being the leader of the syndicate and was refused bail on August 26, while Shannon Collier was granted bail on August 24, as was Greg Collier on August 26. Sweeney remains in custody.

While applying for bail in Lismore Local Court yesterday, defence solicitor Vince Boss said Lloyd did not pose a flight risk because she had lived in the region for some time and had ties to the community, including her mother and daughter who live on the Northern Rivers.

Mr Boss claimed Lloyd was not considered high in the syndicate's hierarchy.

In refusing bail, Magistrate Nick Reimer said Lloyd was accused of a serious matter involving a lengthy investigation.

“There are a huge amount of telephone calls and text messages which will take considerable time to reproduce in a brief,” he said.

“Police have overwhelming evidence of her supplying drugs on a daily basis in the Lismore area.”

Mr Reimer said Lloyd was also accused of receiving phone calls from syndicate members and then preparing the drugs for supply, with many quantities being indictable.

“The court has to consider her involvement,” he said.

“This was a sophisticated drug supply network.”

Mr Reimer adjourned Lloyd's case to Lismore Local Court on October 21, when she is expected to appear by audio visual link.

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