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'Biggest drug bust in a decade'

Mitchell Keith Deegan faces Warwick Magistrates Court.
Mitchell Keith Deegan faces Warwick Magistrates Court.

A PAIR of alleged drug traffickers has been denied bail after being nabbed in what is thought to be Warwick's biggest drug sting in over a decade.

Forty people have been charged with a total of ninety drug charges as a result of the operation.

Pregnant mother of six Jodie Anne Sheather and her partner Mitchell Keith Deegan are facing the most serious charges of yesterday's operation.

They are each facing two charges of drug trafficking and five of supplying dangerous drugs and appeared separately in Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday afternoon.

Police will allege the couple had established a business selling amphetamines and marijuana in Warwick.

It is further alleged Sheather has sold drug outside probation and parole offices.

Lawyer Phillip Crook yesterday asked the court to grant 27-year-old Sheather bail but the application was strongly opposed by Police Prosecutor Steve de Lissa.

Snr Const De Lissa said the operation that led to Sheather and Deegan's arrest was fast-tracked to the extensive allegations of criminal activity.

"This operation has been in place since December and was intended to continue but due to the amount of offences (allegedly) being committed, officers decided it was too dangerous to continue and decided to stop it here and now," he said.

Snr Const de Lissa told the court he believed Sheather would commit further offences if Magistrate Graham Lee granted her bail.

"(Sheather) has no regard for the law whatsoever and that is quite evident," he said.

"If she is released today she will walk out of here and it would be business as usual."

Sheather - who was supported in court by her mother and sister - pleaded with Mr Lee to giver her even one week's bail, as she did not plan to go through with her pregnancy and wanted to see a doctor.

Mr Lee denied the request and advised Sheather to see a doctor in jail.

Sheather's mother attempted to address Mr Lee, however he told her his decision had been made.

Deegan, 30, appeared briefly in court but did not apply for bail.

As he was led from the courtroom, he offered a seemingly sinister wave to Sheather's family, which was met with looks of disdain.

The couple will be remanded until their next appearance in the court on June 26.

A total of 12 raids were carried out in Warwick yesterday, with a further five in Allora, Gatton, Toowoomba and Ipswich.

Warwick CIB Detective Sergeant Darren Tamblyn said the drug sting was the biggest the Rose City had seen in at least 10 years.

"During the operation we seized a large amount of cannabis, amphetamine and cannabis plants," he said.

"I believe we have stopped a major cannabis distribution operation in Warwick.

"We are pleased with the result but it is the public who kicked this off and we are only as good as the information we're getting."

Acting Commissioner Ross Barnett said the Queensland drug squad and its regional policing counterparts placed high emphasis on drug operations because it could ruin lives.

He said Queensland was leading the country in drug detection and he made no apology for that.

"Particularly in the smaller regional towns, the impact of local drug dealing is every bit as significant as it is in the cities; in many cases, more significant," he said.

"So it doesn't matter if it's Warwick, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville or Cairns, the illegal drug trade destroys communities and ruins the lives of people."

Anyone with information on drug crime in Warwick can phone Warwick Police on 4660 4444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  drug bust, drug charges, drug trafficking, warwick magistrates court


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