Alleged Nomads sergeant at arms charged with drug trafficking
A man who police say is a high-ranking member of the Nomads motorcycle gang faced court on Thursday after officers stormed his house in Isabella Plains.
The house is the same one targeted twice in drive-by shootings in March and July this year that police believe to be related to ongoing tensions between bikie gangs.
It's alleged that as officers on Wednesday forced their way into the Ellerston Avenue home Owen Turnbull tried to flush drugs down the toilet.
When officers got inside they allegedly found a recently flushed toilet and a packet of white powder said to be cocaine floating in the water.
There were several clip seal bags containing pills alleged to be ecstasy on top of the cistern.
Police also say they found more than $40,000 dollars in cash stashed around the four-bedroom home, including in video cassette recorders.
Mr Turnbull's Isabella Plains home, which he shares with his father, was targeted in drive-by shootings on March 10 and July 18, the court heard.
Police saw three surveillance cameras set up at the home when they raided it on Wednesday.
Mr Turnbull, 25, faced the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with two counts of drug trafficking and possession of suspected proceeds of crime.
He applied for bail but his release was opposed by prosecutors, who said there was a risk he would interfere with the police investigation and not appear in court.
Prosecutors pointed to the man's alleged attempts to destroy evidence, alleged connections with the Nomads and the significant amount of cash found at his home when arguing against Mr Turnbull's release.
The court heard Mr Turnbull was on bail for other offences when he was arrested on Wednesday but there remained a presumption in favour of him getting bail.
Defence solicitor Tom Taylor said the earlier matters related to Mr Turnbull possessing a very small amount of cocaine and he had pleaded not guilty.
He said Mr Turnbull had a negligible criminal record and only one minor breach of bail conditions since he was released on the earlier charges in 2016.
For people with that kind of record a sentence of full time imprisonment was not the only option, even if Mr Turnbull was to plead guilty to the offences, Mr Taylor said.
And while police say Mr Turnbull is the Nomads ACT chapter's sergeant at arms, Mr Taylor told the court the man instructed him he had handed in his colours months ago.
And it was unclear who the cash in the house belonged to, the lawyer told the court.
Magistrate Beth Campbell said a person would have to be "blind Freddy" not to be aware of an ongoing turf war between bikie gangs in Canberra.
She noted Mr Turnbull was somewhat involved, in that bullets had been shot at his house.
Ms Campbell also observed the connection between bikie gangs and drugs.
But she said while that was in the background, she was bound by the territory's bail laws when deciding whether to release Mr Turnbull.
She noted the man's, criminal record and said there was no risk of him interfering with a police investigation, since the alleged drugs, cash and surveillance footage had been seized.
There was no real risk of him disappearing, she said.
Mr Turnbull was freed on bail on a long list of conditions. These include reporting everyday to police, abiding by a curfew, and not using illegal drugs.
The man's earlier charges are for possessing cocaine, two of obstructing a territory official and one of failing to comply with a direction.
He has pleaded not guilty to these charges and the matters are set down for hearing in December.
He has not entered pleas to the recent charges.
The recent charges return to court on October 26.