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64th birthday marred by drug fine

MARIJUANA RAIDS: Charges from recent drug raids have begun to flow through the court system.
MARIJUANA RAIDS: Charges from recent drug raids have begun to flow through the court system. Nathan Denette

A BOLLIER man's 64th birthday was marred by a drug fine when he appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on marijuana charges on Monday.

Michael Lashbrook Collins, still 63 when police raided his Mary Valley property on November 13, pleaded guilty to producing and possessing marijuana, implements and equipment.

He and East Deep Creek carer, Gregory Paul Sims, 57, were caught up in a series of raids linked to what police told the court was a regional operation involving several police agencies.

Sims also pleaded guilty to similar but separate charges alleging production and possession of marijuana and possession of equipment and a utensil on November 14.

The court was told officers had found 67 small marijuana plants, including seedlings at Collins' property, some in pots and others in the ground.

They had also found 44.6g of drying marijuana, 88.3g of seeds and three pipes, the police prosecutor told the court.

Sims had been found with 42 marijuana plants ranging from 5cm to 1.6m, the court was told.

Police also claimed to have found 288g of marijuana, 10 seeds and four syringes of marijuana oil.

Defence solicitor Chris Anderson told the court the marijuana in both cases was for personal use and the quantities found were within personal use limits.

The two men were each charged $1200, with no conviction recorded, after magistrate Ross Woodford noted their lack of previous convictions.

In another marijuana case before the court yesterday, Gympie man Steen Hassel Burke, 47, was fined $800 after he pleaded guilty to marijuana possession when police searched the car he was driving on October 12.

The court was told police had seen him leave a known drug house. Burke was also fined $300 for unlicensed driving after the court was told he had neglected to renew his licence after a period of disqualification.

Burke had also failed to provide identification details as required by October 20.

Stephanie Mary Higgins, 31 of Southside was fined a total of $1200 for an implement charge on July 10 and failing to attend drug diversion on October 9.

Tony John Cridland , 42, of Gympie, was fined $500 after pleading guilty to having what was described as "less than 1g of marijuana" in his car on November 3.

Rainbow Beach man Heath Motton. 45. was fined $400 after police smelled burnt marijuana on his breath when they pulled him up at Inskip Point on November 19. "He produced a joint from his pocket and had seeds in a tin," the court was told.

Samuel Bulla, 19, of Gympie was placed on a $400, four-month bond, with drug diversion and no conviction recorded.

Topics:  drug raids east deep creek gympie court gympie crime mary valley

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