Items found inside a Range Rover stopped near St Lawrence this week.
Items found inside a Range Rover stopped near St Lawrence this week.

‘Illegal’ police search nets guns, drugs and cash

A CENTRAL Queensland miner arrested after police found a huge stash including guns, drugs and cash inside a stolen Range Rover has been allowed bail with minimal conditions after it was revealed the search of the vehicle may have been illegal.

The 39-year-old North Mackay man is facing 17 offences including burglary, possessing multiple rifles, as well as ice, cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana and car theft.

Benjamin Michael Williams appeared in Mackay Magistrates Court today where prosecution objected to his bail release saying “these are very serious offences”.

Police found a number of items including multiple rifles inside a Range Rover stopped near St Lawrence.
Police found a number of items including multiple rifles inside a Range Rover stopped near St Lawrence.

The court heard Mr Williams was also in a show cause position, meaning the onus was on him to prove why he was entitled to bail.

But Magistrate Damien Dwyer cut off arguments early, questioning the strength of the case.

The court heard the drugs were found inside a Range Rover, which was a hire car that had not been returned.

“I’m not required to go too far into the evidence … but on what your officer has told me there’s a strong case that that search was not lawful,” Mr Dwyer said referring to the bail objection document prepared by the arresting officer.

“He (Mr Williams) was arrested, and then they searched the vehicle. What right do they have to do that?”

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Defence solicitor Geoff Govey told the court that would be the basis of his argument for bail.

Mr Williams was arrested after police stopped the Ranger Rover on Schneiders Rd at St Lawrence this week.

The car had been reported stolen after it was not returned to the rental agency on June 28.

Mr Govey said his client had been on his way to return the vehicle “but he has to give it back in Brisbane”.

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Mr Dwyer found the prima facie in relation to this case was “weak” and allowed bail.

The court heard Mr Williams worked at the mines but was currently on long service leave.

Because of his work at the mine Mr Dwyer declined to include reporting conditions, listing only that Mr Williams had to live at his North Mackay address.

The case will be mentioned later this month.


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