Hitech swoop seizes drugs, cash
BRENDAN Joseph O'Brien and wife Sarah Marie used their Parkhurst home for trafficking large amounts of speed, cocaine and marijuana, a court heard yesterday.
The couple were arrested in December 2003 following a long running hi-tech police investigation.
Mr and Mrs O'Brien sat side by side in the dock at the Supreme Court of Rockhampton after pleading not guilty to a string of drug charges.
In his opening address Crown Prosecutor Paul Alsbury told the court O'Brien allegedly distributed drugs to two men, Terrence Michael Williams and Michael James Miller between 1999 and 2003.
He alleged the men then sold the drugs "on the streets''.
Mr Alsbury said there was no evidence to suggest Mrs O'Brien took part in the drug sales but she aided her husband by hiding drugs and money for him.
He said police had tapped Mr O'Brien's telephone and had installed "bugging'' devices at his Miller Road home and his Denham Street business.
The court is expected to hear secretly taped audio conversations in which Mr O'Brien makes references to "mowing'', "concrete'' and "eight-balls,'' which, Mr Alsbury suggested could be drug code.
He said police found two pasta sauce jars filled with methamphetamine just inside the border of a neighbouring Parkhurst property in November 2002.
In conversations recorded on the "bugs'' Mr O'Brien allegedly referred to two jars containing "about a litre of pure'' which had gone missing from his property, claiming this had cost him $80,000.
Police also seized tens-of-thousands of dollars cash in raids on the property in 2002 and 2003, Mr Alsbury said.
The trial is expected to run for up to three weeks, in that time more than 80 witnesses could called to testify and hundreds of recorded conversations are likely to be played.