Albury drug 'mastermind' and the $80k deal

THE alleged mastermind of an Albury drug syndicate was supplying “ice” valued at much more than $80,000 a week and had many people working for him, a court heard yesterday.

Malcolm John Collins is alleged to have been arranging shipments of the drug from Sydney and doubling his income by adding cutting agents and distributing it on the streets.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood was told in Albury Local Court that Kristopher Calum Crowther was a member of the syndicate supplying drugs.

Crowther, 19, of Thurgoona, is the 10th person charged by police involved in Operation Roder that began in March to investigate Collins and his associates.

Crowther has been charged with 12 offences, including drug supply, conspiracy to supply, participating in a group criminal activity, escaping police custody and resisting arrest.

Ms Greenwood refused him bail, describing him as an unacceptable risk.

The court was told in police facts that Collins was involved in large scale drug supplying. Legal phone intercepts indicated a syndicate of up to 12 people.

About 90 per cent of the intercepts reveal Collins and others talking about drugs.

Collins arranged for associates to drive to Sydney for ice from an up-line supplier. They were paid $350 a trip and their fuel was paid for.

Crowther made a trip in August.

Collins usually paid $8000 to $10,000 for an ounce (28 grams) of the drug.

In Albury, Collins, after adding cutting agents, sold two ounces for $16,000, making a profit of $6000 to $8000 on the original ounce.

His associates sold the drug at street level and returned his profit.

Phone intercepts indicated Collins was supplying ice valued at more than $80,000 a week.

Police intercepted 300-400 calls a day for three months and they implicated Crowther as taking an active role in supplying.

Police arrested Crowther at his home about 9am on Tuesday.

He kicked off his thongs and tried to flee while being led to a police vehicle, but he was restrained and handcuffed.

Crowther admitted his involvement with Collins and others in an interview during which monitored calls were played.

Another person charged is former Albury drug squad detective Matthew Lewis Marshall, 41.

He was at first initially refused bail.

He was later granted bail in a Supreme Court application, on a condition he attend drug rehabilitation.