Mackay men found with $160,000 of ice could face 25 years

ONE of two Mackay men found with $160,000 worth of ice in a vehicle in Mary St in the wee hours of Wednesday morning may have planned to deal drugs to cover a $46,000 debt.

Gympie Magistrates Court was told yesterday the other man had no knowledge of the drugs and was just doing a "favour for a friend" at the time of the bust.

Andrew Robert Hughes, 25, and Joshua Trevor Shandiman, 35, stopped their vehicle in Mary St during a trip from Brisbane to Mackay about 4am on Wednesday.

A police search of the vehicle found 1kg of ice, as well as cash and unlawful weapons, the court heard.

With such a large volume of drugs, the two men now face prison sentences of up to 25 years.

The court heard Mr Hughes' Mackay home was searched after his arrest.

Police found 7.28g of ice, a marijuana plant, a loaded lever-action rifle, ammunition and a log book in a safe showing records of a $46,000 debt owing, dated on Monday.

The weapon was reported stolen from a vehicle in Mackay in June.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Michael Phillips opposed Mr Hughes' bail because he was at risk of reoffending. He said the large debt and "loaded weapon ready to use" was of prime concern.

Sgt Phillips said Mr Shandiman, who is on a drug-related suspended sentence from the Northern Territory Supreme Court, was also at risk of committing further offences.

Mr Shandiman's duty lawyer, Rachel Tierney, said the married father-of-two denied any knowledge of the drugs being in the vehicle.

"He only had $25 and two mobile phones on his person," Ms Tierney said.

"It was not his car; all other items did not belong to him. He had no knowledge whatsoever what was to take place with the amphetamine."

Magistrate B. Barrett said he believed both men presented a risk of reoffending and refused them bail.

Mr Hughes and Mr Shandiman were remanded in custody for committal mention on December 14, in Gympie Magistrates Court.

Gympie Times


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