THE alleged head of a Hunter drug and firearm syndicate with links to outlaw motorcycle gangs has pleaded not guilty to supplying nearly 300 grams of ice and five guns.
Jason Christopher Gibson, 24, of Raymond Terrace, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday via audio visual link from the maximum security wing of Cessnock Correctional Centre where he was committed to face a trial on 35 charges, including 31 firearm offences and a charge of supplying a commercial quantity of ice.
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions solicitor Brooke Ellery told Magistrate Michael Morahan that a further 25 offences would serve as back-ups when Mr Gibson eventually faces a trial in Newcastle District Court.
Strike Force Wilwendam detectives say they identified Mr Gibson as the “principle of the syndicate” after launching an investigation into the supply of drugs and firearms in the Hunter in April, 2016.
“Information from the commencement of this investigation indicated that Mr Gibson and his associates were consorting with outlaw motorcycle gangs including the Nomads and Finks to procure prohibited and restricted drugs including methylamphetamine, cannabis, MDMA and steroids,” according to a statement of police facts tendered during a bail application for a co-accused, Nathan Stephen Jones.
Police allege that on August 9 last year, Mr Gibson met with a person at Hungry Jacks at Rutherford and negotiated the sale of eight firearms and 56 grams (two ounces) of methylamphetamine for $28,500.
The transaction, which detectives claim wound up being four rifles and a pistol and two ounces of methylamphetamine for $26,500, was allegedly completed in Telarah a few days later.
Mr Gibson has pleaded not guilty to a charge of knowingly direct the activities of a criminal group, with police alleging that he controlled a syndicate made up of drug suppliers and a debt recovery group.
Detectives swooped on November 15 last year, raiding five premises at Gillieston Heights, Rutherford, Telarah and Raymond Terrace, arresting five people and allegedly seizing a shotgun, ammunition and a quantity of drugs.
Mr Jones, 27, also appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday.
He has not entered pleas and his matter was adjourned to the same court later this month.
Two other alleged syndicate members – 32-year-old Sarah Corrie and 28-year-old Marc Hoare – also appeared in court on Wednesday.
Mr Gibson’s matter was adjourned until October 12 when he will get a trial date.