Accused drug boss in custody over Facebook post
THE alleged kingpin of a large-scale Cairns drug syndicate could have his bail revoked for posting two pages of a co-accused's police statement on Facebook and labelling him a "rat".
Ryan Hill, 25, is one of seven people potentially facing the biggest drug sentences in the Far North's history if convicted of trafficking "many, many kilograms" of drugs.
He had been on bail since his arrest early last year but was taken into custody after making the Facebook post where he tagged in the girlfriend of co-accused Kieran Wilson and a rat emoji.
The Cairns Magistrates Court heard yesterday, even though Mr Wilson was currently in custody, police alleged the post was an attempt to intimidate a witness.
Police prosecutor Acting Sgt Amy Rennie said the post read: "Cairns' biggest (rat emoji) fabricating stories to stay out of jail", included two pages of his statement, then tagged Mr Wilson's girlfriend.
She said many Facebook friends commented on the post with such things as "don't dog the boys", "snitches get stitches" and "dead man walking".
"The defendant is alleged to have responded to that person 'you should see the full thing bro, 220 paragraphs'," she said.
Police made a submission to have Mr Hill's bail revoked and also opposed a bail objection made on Mr Hill's behalf in court yesterday.
His defence barrister Dymphna Hawkins argued the post did not represent a threat and said he removed it after being contacted by police.
"It was merely a statement of what he thought of a person who gave a statement in that substantive matter," she said.
It was alleged the syndicate operated between the Far North, South Australia, NSW and overseas for two years between 2016 and 2018, dealing in substances including methylamphetamines, cocaine, cannabis, LSD and ecstasy.
They were charged under new legislation enforcing a seven-year minimum sentence as they were allegedly operating as an organised crime ring.
Mr Hill's co-accused Matt Hilton watched yesterday's court proceedings with his father Graham Hill who hit the window of a Cairns Post vehicle outside court.
Acting Magistrate Scott Luxton said he needed time to consider Mr Hill's bail application and adjourned his decision until tomorrow.