Man accused of drug gang link fighting to avoid trial

AT least one of the men allegedly caught up in a $20 million drug importation gang could make a stay application which, if successful, could mean he never faces trial.

Markis Scott Turner, Alexis Giovany Gomez Ruiz, Juan Pablo Ocampo Alvarez and German Rendon Alvarez were charged with conspiring to traffic, import or export and manufacture commercial quantities of cocaine.

The four men were charged after Australian Federal Police found more than 50kg of cocaine in 17 of 600 barrels of hydraulic oil at the Mackay railway yards in 2011.

Mr Turner is a Mackay businessman. The other three are all former residents of Colombia, South America, who the Mercury has reported lived in Mackay for about two years.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Wednesday that one accused man would likely make a stay application but it was possible other applications might follow.

Mr Gomez Ruiz could apply for a stay, Mr Ocampo Alvarex wants to exclude his police interview and Mr Turner wants to have a separate trial and is querying the admissibility of evidence from Australian Crime Commission hearings.

Solicitor Andrew Bale said his client, Mr Rendon Alvarez, was listed for sentence on December 8 but he was likely to make an application to vacate at least one of his guilty pleas once he could obtain proper instructions.

Justice Debra Mullins delisted the sentence after Commonwealth Prosecutor Glen Rice suggested it was not ideal to have one member of the group singled out before the others were dealt with.

There will be another mention on October 22 ahead of applications in November. Justice Mullins has set down November 6 and November 7 to hear some of the applications.

-APN NEWSDESK



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