Police case builds against Baggaleys

THE police case against former Olympic kayaker Nathan Baggaley, his brother Dru and others accused of making and selling ecstasy at Byron Bay is backed by about 1800 pages of phone transcripts, it was revealed yesterday.

The brothers and two other men, Beutlar Filimoehala, 31, of Ballina, and Kyle Benjamin McQuire, 22, of Lennox Head, are charged over a drug operation that manufactured and supplied over 51,000 ecstasy tablets worth between $1.78 million and $2.55 million.

Filimoehala is charged with inciting Nathan Baggaley to supply ecstasy as well as with personally supplying an indictable quantity of ecstasy.

McQuire is also charged with supplying an indictable quantity of ecstasy. However it is on the Baggaley brothers' shoulders that the bulk of the charges land.

Nathan Baggaley faces a total 14 offences including, possessing a tablet press, manufacturing commercial quantities of the drug, supplying commercial quantities of ecstasy.

His brother, Dru, faces 28 charges, including possessing a tablet press, manufacturing commercial quantities of ecstasy, and of supplying commercial quantities and large quantities of ecstasy.

Of the four co-accused, Filimoehala was the only one to appear yesterday in Lismore Local Court in person with the others excused because they had legal representation.

The reason for adjourning the cases of the four men was the sheer volume of telephone transcripts gathered by police in telephone taps during the NSW-Queensland police joint operation Alawa, which netted the gang in last November.

The transcripts number 1800 pages with a lawyer from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution requesting the adjournment to have time to analyse them.

None of the men have yet entered pleas to the charges and each man's case was adjourned to Lismore Local Court on September 2.

Filimoehala is expected to be present in court on that occasion with McQuire excused from attending if legally represented.

The Baggaley brothers are expected to appear in court via audio visual link from jail.

Police allege Dru Baggaley made weekly flights from Coolangatta or Ballina airports to Sydney to source and supply ecstasy.

It is also alleged he would regularly change his mobile phone to avoid detection, buying them under false names using both text messages and emails to set up drug transactions.

After the brothers' arrest in November last year during police raids on premises in Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads only Nathan applied for bail, with his parents putting up a surety of $500,000, but Magistrate Annette Sinclair refused the request.

In Lismore Local Court yesterday a representative of the Baggaley's defence solicitor, John Weller said he had expected a bail application for Nathan to be lodged at the court yesterday but the court had not received it.

Nathan's bail application was expected to be lodged before the brothers' next court appearance on September 2. Dru Baggaley was not expected to apply for bail.

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