Blaze the drug dog sniffs out lads' ecstasy stash
BLAZE the police drug dog was busy over the Easter long weekend.
His handlers from Richmond Police District had put him to work sniffing out visitors to a popular off-the-beaten-track bush doof, Rabbits Eat Lettuce, staged at Kippenduff, south west of Casino.
Two of those visitors were Brisbane men Sean West and Matthew Ives, who along with a third man were looking forward to the exotic weekend and had planned accordingly.
But police had other ideas.
Just after noon on Friday March 30, the trio were pulled over on their way into the event, according to police facts.
Officer Blaze was put to work sniffing the vehicle's interior, and he immediately signalled something suspect.
Asked whether they had any illicit substances, the trio handed over a snap lock baggie with 18 MDMA capsules.
They admitted the drugs were theirs - but purely for personal use - and they were ultimately charged with possession of six tablets each.
West, 20, and Ives, 21, made the lengthy trip to front Casino Local Court this morning for sentencing and were supported by family members.
The pair's solicitor Mr Quinn argued the appropriate sentence was a conditional release order with no conviction recorded.
He said the offence was at the relatively lower end with "no suggestion of commerciality" or even "social supply".
The pair had also immediately surrendered the drugs when confronted by police and West had voluntarily signed a statutory declaration to affirm the six tablets were his.
They had both pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and neither had a criminal record
In short, Mr Quinn argued they had taken responsibility for the offence and were unlikely to reoffend.
Magistrate David Heilpern agreed West and Ives were "fully cooperative with the police" and each had made full and frank admissions.
"In the big scheme of things this was something you were going to do to yourself as opposed to anyone else," he noted.
He said the young men were getting a chance but "this is the only chance you're going to get".
The offence was proven but no conviction was recorded and there was no fine under Section 10 of the Crime Sentencing Procedure Act.
The duo's family members, seated in the back of the courtroom, smiled and shook hands as the sentence was handed down.