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4-month investigation to take down teen 'drug king'

Flynn Brown, 18, is accused of dealing a 'large amount' of drugs in the Byron Bay area.
Flynn Brown, 18, is accused of dealing a 'large amount' of drugs in the Byron Bay area.

FRIDAY 7.45am: A TEENAGER two weeks out of high school has appeared in Byron Bay Local Court after a three-and-a-half-month police investigation into drug supply resulted in his arrest.

Flynn Brown, 18, remains in custody after his family was unable to pay a $200,000 surety for his alleged drug dealing.

The teen is accused of selling $800 worth of "8 ball" cocaine to undercover police and having a "treasure trove" of safes in secret locations throughout the region, the Gold Coast Bulletin have reported.

Mr Brown appeared in Byron Bay Local Court yesterday charged with 13 counts of supply prohibited drugs, including cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.

Police told the court they were so concerned about his alleged activities they set up taskforce Strike Force ARBDO nearly four months ago to target the 18-year-old, with officers engaging in several undercover drug purchases and intercepting 7700 phone calls and text messages.

Police allege that Mr Brown had been selling "large amounts" of drugs in the Byron Bay region for at least eight months - to fellow Byron Bay High School students, to locals and tourists in licensed premises, and to revellers at music festivals.

The prosecution told the court Mr Brown and his customers referred to drug meets as "lunch, coffee, pool or beer" in text messages before meeting to discuss deals.

Brown was "living beyond his means", regularly eating out, drinking in hotels and gambling, the court was told.

Police intelligence revealed Crime Stoppers reports on Brown began in May this year.

On Wednesday, police raided the Paterson St home Brown shares with his father, finding small amounts of cannabis, MDMA and Viagra.

Defence lawyer Rod Behan said his client had strong ties to the community.

He said Brown had lived in Byron Bay his whole life and could be released into the custody of his father, and asked his client's clean criminal history and age be taken into account.

However, police believe Brown had a "mountain of safes in safe locations".

"One was hidden in a water tower at Byron Bay and police located this," Prosecutor Senior Constable Brett Gradisnik said.

"Interference with evidence is a concern," Sen Constable Gradisnik said in opposing bail.

"Police say there's a large amount of cash outstanding at hidden locations.

"I accept he has strong ties to the community, but he's a young adult continuing serious drug offences in this same community ... He is creating havoc in the community."

Magistrate Michael Dakin said he was concerned Brown would flee or continue to reoffend if released on bail.

"A custodial sentence will inevitably follow and this realisation may lead him to flee on a flight," he said. "He has stashes of secret locations involving money and is harmful to the community."

However, Mr Dakin granted Brown bail, imposing strict conditions and a $200,000 surety.

Brown's father requested the amount be reduced to $150,000.

Mr Behan told the court it would be difficult for his client's father, a local landscaper, to come up with the money.

But Mr Dakin said the surety would not be changed.

"I have real concerns about this young man being in the community," the magistrate said.

"He's been involved in serious criminal offences for a significant amount of time."

  • Correction and apology: An earlier version of this story listed charges relating to ice and heroin-laden pills. This was incorrect and we apologise for it.

 

THURSDAY 12.20pm: A TEENAGER has been charged with drug possession and supply offences after his bedroom was searched yesterday.

In August 2016, police commenced an investigation into the supply and distribution of drugs in the area, a statement from the NSW Police Force said.

Yesterday detectives attached to Tweed/Byron Bay Local Area Command executed a search warrant at a home on Patterson Street, Byron Bay.

During the search, police located cannabis; methamphetamine and Viagra in an 18-year-old man's bedroom.

A vehicle was also seized from the property which it will be alleged was used in the distribution of illegal drugs.

He was charged with 13 offences including ongoing supply of prohibited drug, possess prohibited drug and supply prohibited drug.

The man will appear in Byron Bay Local Court today.

Topics:  byron bay crime drugs editors picks police viagra



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