Drug supply ring accused enter pleas
FOUR men have pleaded guilty to a series of drug supply charges after they arrested in connection to a drug supply ring uncovered by police investigating the death of two bikies in a fatal 2018 crash.
Jason Wayne O'Driscoll, 40, Aaron Raymond Godwin, 39, Gregory John Reilly, 46 and Tyson Stoker, 24, are all co-accused of the drug supply ring and between them face more than 100 supply prohibited drug charges.
In Grafton Local Court on Tuesday, the four men all confirmed their pleas of guilty to a multitude of supply prohibited drug between indictable and commercial quantity charges. O'Driscoll, Godwin and Stoker also pleaded guilty to supply prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis.
In an unrelated matter, Godwin entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of aggravated break and enter to commit a serious indictable offence.
A fifth co-accused, Michael Alexander Looker, 52, was also due to appear in court to face drug supply charges but reported he had a fever and was refused entry into the courtroom because of COVID-19 restrictions.
In December 2018, detectives from Coffs/Clarence Police District established Strike Force Kiowa to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of two people in a fatal crash near Halfway Creek, 20km south of Grafton.
As a result, 35-year-old James Kevin Cook was charged with two counts of murder in 2019 after police found the small pistol which was allegedly involved in the December 2018 crash that took place on the Pacific Hwy between Glenugie and Halfway Creek.
As part of their extensive inquiries into the death of the two bikies, strike force investigators allegedly identified a significant drug supply syndicate in the Grafton and South Grafton areas.
About 8.30am on August 8 last year, officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District, with assistance from operational support units, conducted four search warrants at homes in Grafton, South Grafton and Halfway Creek which allegedly resulted in the seizure methylamphetamine, cannabis, cash and weapons and the arrests of O'Driscoll, Godwin, Stoker, Reilly and Mr Looker.
In Grafton Local Court on Monday, magistrate Michael Dakin committed O'Driscoll, Godwin, Stoker and Reilly to appear in Grafton District Court on August 17 this year for a date to be set for their sentencing.
After pleading not guilty to aggravated break and enter, Mr Dakin said a trial date for Godwin's charge would be determined on August 12.
Mr Looker will next appear in Grafton Local Court on August 4.