Drug whammo as cops grab $17,000 in cooler bag
GREGORY Muston's cash holding landed a $17,000 whallop when police caught him with wads of cash done up in bundles in a car at Calliope.
The cash was in a drinks cooler bag.
Muston, 49, a Biloela resident who has since moved to Rockhampton couldn't explain the cash and Gladstone police seized it.
Muston pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to possession of dangerous drugs; possession of Schedule 1 drugs (methylamphetamine); drug utensils; and having proceeds of an offence under the Drugs Misuse Act, $16,950.
Police prosecutor Gavin Reece said police intercepted the car Muston was riding in at 1.10am on January 30. Three men were inside and the driver (not Muston) tested positive to an RBT.
A police search found $16,950 cash in bundles of $20 in a cooler bag along with a white crystal substance (ice) in clip seal bags, and 30 grams of cannabis. Muston claimed ownership.
Mr Reece said police also observed drug related messages on his mobile phone.
He said Muston had one previous drug possession offence in December 2015 when he went before a Biloela court and fined $600.
Lawyer Jun Pepito said Muston instructs he began using drugs in Biloela but now distanced himself from those people and moved away.
"He can't justify the money which is a significant amount and which was confiscated by police," he said.
"These people were bad news to him so he has relocated."
Magistrate Melanie Ho fined Muston $1000 and recorded a conviction saying he had been associating with the wrong people and now moved on.
Ms Ho ordered forfeiture of the cash.