Qld State of Origin great, restaurateur on cocaine charges

Former Australian rugby league player Jason Smith.
Former Australian rugby league player Jason Smith. Kevin Farmer

A FORMER Australian rugby league star and a prominent Toowoomba restaurateur have been charged with trafficking cocaine.

Mill St Tavern owner Jason Paul Smith, 42, and Olive Branch restaurant owner Jason Matthew Wood, 34, were charged on Monday as a part of a six-month joint operation between the Crime and Corruption Commission and the Darling Downs Tactical Crime Squad.

Smith represented Australia in 15 Tests and Queensland 16 times in State of Origin level during his rugby league career.

He played first grade football for 17 years with clubs including Canterbury, Parramatta, Canberra and North Queensland as well as playing for Toowoomba Brothers in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition in 2011 and 2012.

Southern Region crime coordinator Detective Superintendent Paul Schmidt said police would allege the men trafficked 280g of cocaine to Toowoomba between June and December last year.

Det. Supt. Schmidt said no drugs were found when officers searched the residence section of Smith's Mill St Tavern and Wood's Westbrook home on Monday.

Olive Branch owner Jason Wood.
Olive Branch owner Jason Wood. Kevin Farmer

Det. Supt. Schmidt said Wood would also face a cocaine possession charge after his vehicle was stopped at the Gold Coast on December 20 last year.

He said police would allege Wood was in possession of about 3.5g of cocaine known as an "eight ball" when stopped.

Both men were given bail to appear in Toowoomba Magistrates Court on February 11.



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