A magistrate frustrated by ongoing delays has warned he will next week commit to sentence or trial the accused in a Border drug supply ring regardless of whether their cases are ready or not.
As each case came before him this week, Rodney Brender made clear that repeated adjournments in the matters had become unacceptable.
Five people - three men and two women - were arrested and charged after raids by police last August 1.
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At the time, police claimed they seized drugs, including ice and cocaine, valued at a minimum of $300,000.
This led to police laying 140 charges against the accused - Mahmoud El-Zayet, his partner, Claudette Tannous, Kylie Maree Pearce, Thomas Alfred Purtell and Alfred Maxwell Clark.
The final number of charges to eventually go before the District Court is likely to be significantly lower, as the result of ongoing negotiations between the Director of Public Prosecutions and defence lawyers.
But Mr Brender said the delays stopped now.
"It's not how it's supposed to work," he told DPP representative Mary-Beth McFarlane during the mention of Purtell's case.
He continued the argument during the mention of matters involving El-Zayet, who represented himself this week.
"I'm just not going to keep adjourning this," he said.
"I'm going to commit this to the District Court next week one way or another for trial or sentence."
Ms McFarlane told Mr Brender that agreement had been reached on "specific charges" during a recent case conference with El-Zayet's legal team.
But, she said, neither the DPP or the defence had recorded this agreement.
Purtell's lawyer, Mark Cronin, told the court that one of the matters against his client had "certainly" been resolved.
"We're just trying to work out the substance involved your honour."
In response, Mr Brender highlighted his concerns about the delays.
"This has been going on for over nine months, it's not supposed to take that long," he said.
The cases of El-Zayet, Purtell and Pearce were adjourned to Tuesday.
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