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May 3, 2010
A man who police claim is the head of the fledgling WA chapter of the Comancheros outlaw motorcycle gang has been refused bail because he posed a "substantial" flight risk.
Steve Milenkovski, 32, faces two charges of conspiracy to possess methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply.
One of the charges relates to 2.67kg of methylamphetamine that was found by police at a Stirling house on December 4, while the second charge relates to the seizure of more than 5kg of methylamphetamine on February 16.
The court was told on a previous occasion that he has been in custody since his arrest over the matters on February 25.
A trial was also not likely for another 12 months.
Prosecutors opposed bail for Mr Milenkovski because of the "serious nature" of the offences, and argued he must demonstrate exceptional circumstances to be released.
If he was granted bail, he would live with his mother in Tuart Hill and abide by any conditions the court imposed on him.
The State also submitted there was a "significant flight risk" and there was a chance Mr Milenkovski could commit a further offence while out of prison.
Mr Milenkovski's lawyers said there was incentive for him to stay in WA and fight the charges because his assets - which are worth up to $2 million - had been frozen under the Criminal Property Confiscation Act.
Justice Peter Blaxell said factors which favoured a grant of bail to Mr Milenkovski were his lack of any significant prior convictions and his compliance with bail conditions when he was previously charged with drug offences.
"I also accept that the likely forfeiture of approximately $1.5-$2 million worth of frozen property in the event of him absconding could potentially favour a grant of bail," he said.
But he remarked the State had put together a "very strong circumstantial case" against the accused man, particularly in respect of the second charge.
"The content of the telephone intercepts provide compelling evidence of his involvement in drug dealing generally and with the 5kg of methylamphetamine in particular," Justice Blaxell said.
"Further corroboration of his involvement comes from the evidence as to his movements, in relation to both alleged offences, which correlate with particular text messages.
"There is also the coincidence that he was in the close vicinity of both quantities of methylamphetamine at the times that they were being delivered."
Justice Blaxell agreed that Mr Milenkovski posed a serious flight risk in light of the "strong prosecution case", and that he could also reoffend should he be released on bail.
"... If Mr Milenkovski is not kept in custody, there will be a significant incentive for him to take flight in order to avoid punishment," he said.
"... No conditions of bail can be reasonably imposed which would sufficiently remove the possibility of his non-appearance at trial.
"He had a very close call on December 4 and was fortunate not to be arrested on a serious drug charge at that time.
"It should have been obvious that the police would be interested in his future activities, but notwithstanding this - on the evidence before me - he continued to deal in illicit drugs."
Such circumstances suggested he might have a "similar attitude towards further offending" should he be released, Justice Blaxell said.
The maximum jail terms for each of the two charges is 20 years.