Comic book drug plot alleged ringleader in court
Comic books and photo albums were allegedly used to hide thousands of dollars worth of ice and shipped to Australia.
Ross Stuart McCallum was arrested last week after police seized three kilograms of the drug ice after raiding nine Gold Coast homes.
Police allege the 49-year-old was the ringleader of a 16-month operation in which drugs were concealed in comic books and photo albums in California and then sent to Queensland.
McCallum has been charged with offences including importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs, drug trafficking and money laundering.
Magistrate Mark Howden granted McCallum bail in the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday and set strict conditions including that he wears a GPS tracker at all times.
One of the packages sent to Australia as part of the operation contained nearly a kilogram of the drug ice, the court was told.
The court was told McCallum would travel to California and then use alias names such as Alan Robertson and Ross Grate to send drugs back home through the post.
The mail coincided with McCallum making large cash deposits of up to $7000 at a time, the court was told.
The packages of comic book and photo albums were addressed to places in Queensland which McCallum had access to, such an abandoned home near where one of his friends lived in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Police allege McCallum made about eight trips to the United States since February last year.
Four packages believed to be part of the drug operation were intercepted by police during their transit and revealed quantities of ice 250-952g in each.
The court was told about 17 other packages of either comic books or photo albums were sent to Australia since February last year to addresses associated with McCallum but their contents were not examined.
Defence lawyer Jodi Allen, of Buckland Allen Criminal Lawyers, said McCallum had been trying to start a business overseas during the alleged offending period.
"He was trying to get a business off the ground in the States," Ms Allen said.
Mr Howden said the case was a "circumstantial" one and "inferences were being drawn."
McCallum was currently experiencing mental health issues and would receive medical treatment before being released on bail.
He will live with his daughter in Robina.
He will return to court on July 4.