Drug case trio in court
THREE individuals charged in connection with one of Australia's biggest cannabis hauls are appearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this week for a committal hearing.
Michael Bennett Gardner Senior, 55, Michael Bennett Gardner Junior, 29, and Rosemary Gardner, 31, face multiple charges for their alleged roles in the production of cannabis valued at $500 million seized last July near Inglewood.
The drugs were discovered on a secluded property in the Warroo district and included more than 30,000 live plants and three tonnes of dried cannabis, believed to be the biggest bust in Queensland history.
Other items allegedly found at the property included a large stockpile of weapons, body shackles, night vision goggles, long-range rifle scopes, handguns and ammunition.
Gardner Snr faces a total of 14 charges, including production and trafficking of a dangerous drug, unlawful possession of weapons, possessing instructions related to production of a dangerous drug, assault occasioning bodily harm and indecent treatment of a child under the age of 16.
His son, Gardner Jnr, is facing a total of nine charges, mostly related to the production of a dangerous drug, while Rosemary Gardner faces one count each of trafficking and possession of a dangerous drug and keeping or use of a protected animal.
The committal hearing is expected to determine if there is sufficient evidence for the matters to proceed to trial.
A Justice Department spokesman said it should conclude on Friday.