Man granted bail after car ice bust ‘worth $650k’

A Geelong man implicated in a drug bust of what police claim could be $650,000 worth of ice, has been released on bail.

Ryan Stalker, 31, was one of four men stopped in Campbells Creek on August 22 while travelling in a car containing 84.25 grams of methamphetamine, commonly known as ice.

Ammunition, knives, gloves, bolt cutters, screwdrivers, torches, four pairs of white gloves and several items of dark clothing were found alongside the drugs. Stalker appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday seeking bail on a raft of charges including trafficking a drug of dependence. 

Police opposed bail.

Sergeant Dave Somerton said Stalker had been driving the car when it was stopped by police for speeding along the Midland Highway about 10.45pm. 

He said police checks showed Stalker’s licence had been cancelled and a body search found a small zip lock bag of ice in Stalker’s wallet.

Sergeant Somerton said more ice was found in three zip lock bags in the front passenger foot well and in a tin in the centre console.  “In the back seat there was a large quantity of hand written notes with details of drug trafficking totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. 

“The notes also made reference to a variety of firearms and vehicles.”

Sergeant Somerton said Stalker had a long list of prior  offences which had funded his addiction to ice.

Sergeant Somerton said the ice found was tested at 80 per cent purity, but could have been cut down to “street purity” of 5 per cent at an the estimated street value of $650,000. 

Stalker’s lawyer Tim Fitzpatrick said there was no evidence to suggest the street value of the drug seized or link his client to the drugs found in the car, or the weapons. 

He said one of the co-accused had signed an affidavit saying the deal bags belonged to him, and the car belonged to another co-accused. 

But Magistrate Jennifer Tregent grilled Mr Fitzpatrick about what Stalker was doing in the car to begin with. “How does your client know these people with significant drug priors?” she asked. 

“What’s his reason for coming here? I presume it wasn’t to see our art gallery.” Ms Tregent said Stalker’s behavior was “highly suspicious” but more concrete evidence linking him to the drugs was needed, granting him bail on condition he report regularly to police, not associate with his three co-accused and submit to random drug testing.

● Tomorrow, the Bendigo Advertiser joins with community organisations to help Break the ICE, a campaign to rid our streets of the drug this week described by a magistrate to be ‘’seeping through our community like cancer’’. 

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