Ex-Gympie drug lord on the run after jail break

ESCAPED: Former Gympie cannabis grower Howard Lindsay has escaped from prison.
ESCAPED: Former Gympie cannabis grower Howard Lindsay has escaped from prison. Peter Holt

FORMER big time Gympie cannabis grower Howard Kerry Lindsay was on the run late yesterday after escaping prison, police said.

Lindsay, who was accused of having $1.9 million in unexplained income at the time of his most recent arrest, was serving a seven-year sentence for large scale cannabis growing offences, committed while on bail for earlier similar offences.

Those offences, in 2009, were committed while he was on parole for the Gympie district offences in 2002.

Lindsay escaped from the Blackall Work Camp, after being caught with his son growing more than $1 million worth of marijuana on a family property and in a national park west of Mackay.

He was sentenced last year to seven years jail after police found about 1500 seedlings at various crop sites.

He was on bail at the time for producing 13 cannabis crops on his property at Calen, north of Mackay, in 2009.

When caught for the 2009 offences, he was on parole over crops found on two properties near Gympie and Tandur, involving about 12,000 immature plants.

Authorities claimed at the time the plants would have been worth millions of dollars if grown to maturity.

Police also found a large collection of earthmoving equipment, tractors and other vehicles.

Lindsay is described as 178cm tall, 104kg in weight, fair complexion, blue eyes, clean shaven, with grey hair and a tattoo scar on his right arm.

He was among three prisoners who have escaped from Queensland prison since Sunday.

The other two, Tony Dwaine Morgan and Bradley Thomas Kuhl, escaped on Sunday night from the Capricornia Correctional Centre by rolling up a fence.

Although authorities believed they had been seen around the Rockhampton area, police said the search would involve an area south to Caboolture.

Assistant police commissioner Mike Condon said corrective services investigators and detectives were involved in trying to locate the two.

"We ask that you do not approach them, but dial 000, local police or Crime Stoppers," he said.

He also warned anyone harbouring the prisoners that they could face a maximum of two years jail.

The prisoners faced up to seven years jail for escaping.

Morgan is serving a life sentence for murder and Kuhl a six-year sentence for armed robbery and other crimes.

Police said Morgan had no known Rockhampton ties but investigations would include Caboolture, Burpengary and Bundaberg.

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