Alleged drug trafficker chips away at colossal charge list
A SOUTH Burnett man facing a massive list of 82 charges appeared before Kingaroy Magistrates Court today, finalising four lingering driving offences before heading to the Supreme Court.
Michel John-Bruce Hood was arrested in Blackbutt and charged with 59 offences earlier this year, including 57 counts of supplying dangerous drugs and one count of trafficking and receiving or possessing property obtained from trafficking or supplying dangerous drugs.
He has been remanded in custody since his arrest on May 25, along with his co-accused.
Hood‘s charges came as part of the eight-month long Operation Butza, which started in September last year with the goal of locating South Burnett residents and properties involved in dangerous drug supply across the region.
Hood’s defence lawyer, Jay Rose, told the court he has 82 outstanding charges all together, with 58 having been committed to the Supreme Court. Fourteens charges of supply dangerous drugs were previously dealt with in the district court.
Four lingering driving charges were dealt with today (September 14), including driving with false number plates, with a remaining six Magistrate Court charges adjourned until November 30.
On May 20, 2020, police intercepted Hood while driving on Rodgers Drive at Kingaroy. At the time, he was not the holder of a drivers licence. The car was also unregistered, uninsured, and had an incorrect number plates fitted to it.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Pepe Gangemi said when police located the vehicle in a Kingaroy car wash, a female friend who was travelling with Hood told officers she was the driver.
“Other action was taken against her for that misinformation,” Sgt Gangemi said.
For the disqualified driving, Hood was convicted and disqualified from holding or obtaining a license for a period of three years from today.
Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said this was taking into account Hood’s “six page traffic history, which includes a number of other periods of disqualification”.
For driving an uninsured vehicle, he was convicted and fined $500, which has been referred to SPER.
For driving an unregistered vehicle and the use of false number plates, he was convicted and not further punished.
He is remanded in custody to appear before the court via video on November 30 for a mention.