Cut and blow: Barbershop trio on coke trafficking charges
The owner of three "million-dollar-a-year" Brisbane barber shops, one of his clients and another local barber have been charged over an alleged cocaine trafficking racket.
The three men were among 37 charged with 215 offences as a result of a six-month operation, which police claim resulted in the seizure of $272,000 worth of cash and drugs.
Five people in total were charged with trafficking following raids in Fortitude Valley and Greater Brisbane on Friday.
Michael Anthony Langanis, who owns Langanis Barber shops in Brisbane city, Teneriffe and West End, is accused of supplying cocaine through his hair businesses.
Langanis' social media page shows the 25-year-old living a luxurious lifestyle, with nights out and overseas trips, while other images show him at his barbershops with big hair and Gucci shopping bags.
The Newstead local is facing 26 charges including trafficking, 11 counts of supplying dangerous drugs, five of drug possession, tax-related fraud, a forged document charge and common assault.
Langanis is alleged to have arranged for the sale of drugs to covert police who came into his business, the court heard.
He also faces a charge over his refusal to supply police with his mobile phone password.
The barber was granted bail and left the Brisbane watch house yesterday, sporting still styled hair, with blonde highlights and a designer bag over his shoulders.
Giovanni Genuario, another barber working at a separate Kelvin Grove business and a man said to be a hairdressing customer of Langanis and factory-worker Benjamin Wheeler also are charged with trafficking.
Shane Ederesi Allan Griffin, who worked at the same Kelvin Grove barber shop which was raided by police, also was arrested as part of police Operation Sierra Gypsy.
Griffin pleaded guilty to cocaine possession, possession of a phone used for a drug offence and breaching bail. He was convicted and fined $950 in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Wade Domagala said Griffin told police he used the mobile phone to buy drugs from "Gio''.
Magistrate Anthony Gett said police alleged Langanis supplied illicit drugs, including cocaine, using or involving his barbershop businesses, between July and December 12.
Lawyer Corey Cullen told the court Langanis had been a very successful barber shop owner for six years, with his three shops grossing one million dollars a year in income.
Mr Gett said the evidence, from significant amounts of covert surveillance, human sources and phone intercepts, was strong.
Mr Gett granted bail on several conditions, including a $20,000 surety, reporting to police three times a week, surrendering his passport, no international travel or contact with co-accused.
Wheeler, 28, of Northgate, who also was charged as a result of the drug operation, also was granted bail on conditions, including no contact with co-accused.
"Langanis is his hairdresser. He can go to another barber shop," Wheeler's lawyer, Brendan Beavon, told the magistrate.
Wheeler is charged with 11 offences, including drug trafficking, five counts of supplying dangerous drugs and four counts of possessing dangerous drugs.
Genuario, who is charged with drug trafficking, 15 counts of supplying dangerous drugs and five other drug-related charges, did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody.
Originally published as Cut, style and blow: Barbershop trio on coke trafficking charges