Our client is a 26-year old carpenter from Sydney’s west.
Police say they were given a ‘tip off’ from an informant and searched our client’s premises, locating a total of more than 1.1 kg of cocaine and 1000 MDMA (ecstacy) tablets in various locations.
Our client lived alone on the premises and police charged him with two counts of supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.
The supply was ‘deemed’ under section 29 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.
Our client did not participate in a police interview.
He instructed us that the night before the search, he had a house party during which drugs were being sold by a major drug supplier.
He informed us he had no idea about the drugs being stashed on his premises.
A significant amount of work was undertaken by our legal team to raise sufficient doubt that the drugs found did not belong to our client, nor was he aware they were left there by the owner.
We arranged for independent examination of the parcels which excluded any possibility of our client’s fingerprints or DNA being on them.
The examination concluded there was a fingerprint that belonged to another person.
No drugs were located in our client’s bedroom, and we were able to obtain evidence that two others stayed at the premises the previous night.
We drafted extensive ‘representations’ (written submissions requesting withdrawal of the case) which detailed the law relating to the requirement that the prosecution must prove ‘exclusive possession’ beyond reasonable doubt, together with defence statements and partial disclosure of the forensic evidence derived from the parcels.
After extensive negotiations, the prosecution realised it would not be able to prove possession beyond reasonable doubt (an essential ingredient of deemed supply) and withdrew all charges – which has saved our client many tens of thousands of dollars and a great deal of stress, anxiety and uncertainty facing a jury trial.
It is very rare that the prosecution withdraws charges as serious as large commercial drug supply, especially when drugs are found pursuant to a tip-off at a location where the suspect is the sole resident.
But it is certainly possible with an expert defence team behind you with the right knowledge, experience, contacts and resources.