Accused drug dealer in Bendigo claims he sells rock salts and health supplement powder, not ice

A BENDIGO man planned to fight his drug trafficking charge because he claimed he was only selling rock salts and a health supplement powder, rather than methamphetamine.

Madison Martin, 24, appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday facing a number of charges including firearm and drug offences.

He was arrested on High Street, Kangaroo Flat, on April 26 after allegedly fleeing police on foot a month earlier.

Martin attempted to drive away, but a police officer kicked in his window and he was pepper sprayed and dragged from the car. Martin alleges he suffered a broken wrist during the arrest.

A .22 handgun was allegedly found in the car, along with a hunting knife, scales and deal bags.

Evidence of drug trafficking was also allegedly found on his phone, including an exchange in which he agreed to sell a person “rock salts” without their knowledge. Other messages included references to selling HB’s, or “half bags”.

Police also arrested Martin on February 26.

He allegedly dived out the side window of a house on Gladstone Street to flee police, dropping a small bag of ice and the keys to a Holden Commodore parked in front of the house. The car allegedly contained a loaded .22 sawn off rifle.

Martin was arrested and bailed.

On March 23, police spotted him driving in Huntly despite being disqualified from driving for two years. He parked the car in Rennie Street and “took off” on foot, leaving the car unlocked.

Police searched the car and found a bag containing 61.3 grams of methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, a non-toxic powder typically used as a health supplement. Two more bags of MSM were found.

Drug dealers use MSM as a cutting agent.

The car also contained drug paraphernalia and tools, including a drill, head unit, sockets and spanners, alleged to be the proceeds of crime.

Martin could not be found in the area.

He appeared by video link in the Bendigo court this week following his arrest in April, and hoped to plead guilty and resolve his matters. He earlier planned to fight the charge because police had not found traffickable quantities of drugs in his possession – only MSM powder.

The court heard Martin suffers schizophrenia but no material was provided to prove the diagnosis.

Magistrate Megan Aumair said she did not want to provide a sentencing indication without evidence of the diagnosis, but said it was serious offending that warranted jail time.

“It will be jail, significant jail,” she said.

Martin will next appear in court in about six weeks.