Drug lord probed on ‘fake’ war service
ESCAPED ex-Gympie region drug lord Howard Kerry Lindsay is under investigation over his claimed war service history, with claimed suspicions he invented it "to win sympathy and gain lenient sentences".
Lindsay, a former big time marijuana grower is currently on the run after escaping from a prison work camp, where he was serving a seven-year sentence for large scale marijuana growing offences, committed while on bail for earlier similar offences.
Those offences, in 2009, were committed while he was on parole for the Gympie district offences from 2002.
Lindsay was doing time after being caught with his son, growing more than $1 million worth of marijuana on a family property and in a national park west of Mackay.
He was sentenced to seven years jail after police found about 1500 seedlings at various crop sites.
He was on bail at the time for producing 13 marijuana crops on his property at Calen, north of Mackay, in 2009.
When caught for the 2009 offences, he was on parole over crops found on two properties near Gympie and Tandur, involving about 12,000 immature plants.
Authorities claimed at the time the plants would have been worth millions of dollars if grown to maturity.
Police also found a large collection of earthmoving equipment, tractors and other vehicles.
He was among three prisoners who escaped from Queensland prisons in early April.
The Sunday Mail reported last weekend that Lindsay had claimed to be a Vietnam veteran who suffered shrapnel wounds from an exploding grenade.
But he is now suspected of having "invented the war story to win sympathy and gain lenient sentences," the paper reported.
It said sentencing and appeal judges had repeatedly accepted Lindsay was a national serviceman who saw active service in Vietnam.
"However Lindsay is not named on the federal government's Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans, which lists 61,000 people who served in the army, navy and air force in the conflict from 1962 to 1975."
It quoted private investigators saying he was called up but did not serve overseas.