Shotgun surprise for fisheries officers in Aussie flag
OFFICERS from the Department of Boating and Fisheries got more than they bargained for when they boarded Bevon Leslie Burnell's dinghy on the Fitzroy River. They found a sawn-off shotgun wrapped in an Australian flag hidden in the floor of the vessel.
Burnell, 28, yesterday pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court to possession of the firearm along with drug offences and possession of firecrackers.
The firearm possession was one of three offending days earlier this year.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Shaun Janes said on February 2, police searched a Kent St, Depot Hill for dangerous drugs and found Burnell in the front yard.
A search of Burnell led to the discovery of 2.11 grams of pure methamphetamines in a clip seal bag in his wallet.
Inside the house, police located 40 grams of cannabis and 29 cannabis seeds inside a backpack, a glass pipe hidden in a black case in the oven, a green glass pipe and a bong in the bedroom.
Police also located .22 small red firecrackers inside a tool box in the car port.
A month later Burnell was busted with the .22 calibre shortened firearm along with a telescopic sight while he was in his dinghy a few kilometres south of the Quay St boatramp.
"The shortened firearm was wrapped in an Australian flag," Sgt Janes said.
"The rifle appeared to be well maintained. It was oiled recently."
Five days later, police intercepted Burnell on Emu Park Rd, Nankin about 8am. He tested positive for drugs and an analysis determined he had meth in his system.
Defence lawyer Doug Winning said Burnell had been working at Callaghan Park doing maintenance work up until six months ago and now he is unemployed.
He said the rifle was given to Burnell by a fishing buddy to hide.
Mr Winning said Burnell no longer uses meth and only has the occasional smoke of cannabis, which he'd like assistance to stop doing.
Magistrate Catherine Benson sentenced Burnell to nine-months probation for the drug offences, $1000 in fines for the firecrackers and rifle; two-months prison, wholly suspended but operational for eight-months plus disqualified from driving for eight-months for the drug driving offence. Convictions were recorded.