NIMBIN BUST: Police find loaded Magnum hidden in blue box
A NIMBIN man who evaded court for disqualified driving has copped far more serious charges after police allegedly found a loaded Magnum pistol and drug manufacturing equipment in his home.
But the wannabe drug kingpin has denied the unlicensed gun was his.
Richmond police visited the 54-year-old man's Bishops Creek Rd address on Tuesday afternoon, ostensibly over a number of outstanding arrest warrants for disqualified driving offences.
A struggle ensued when the man allegedly resisted arrest and a police pinned him to the ground where he sustained a minor shoulder injury.
Upon searching the premises police allegedly found a fully loaded .357 Magnum six shot revolver inside a blue box hidden between two mattresses.
They claim to have located glass equipment and precursor materials used for the clandestine manufacturing of chemical drugs.
Richmond police Inspector Doug Conners said the equipment was being analysed by forensic specialists to assess the kind of drugs it was intended for.
The 54-year-old was charged with possessing drug manufacturing apparatus, three charges relating to the possession of an unlicensed and loaded gun, possession of stolen goods and resisting arrest.
During an interview with police, he accepted ownership of the drug equipment but denied ownership or possession of the "Dirty Harry" style gun.
He was refused bail and will appear before the Lismore Local Court on August 18 facing a total of 11 charges, just three of which relate to prior disqualified driving offences.
Inspector Conners said the arrest of the man was part of an ongoing strategy to target drug manufacturers and dealers in the region.
He said drug labs could come in any shape or size.
"Police are certainly aware of a number of illicit drug manufacturing methods and we're aware the processes have been simplified and that drug laboratories these days aren't necessarily complex sophisticated set ups, and they can very mobile," he added.
"An illicit drug laboratory can be set up anywhere, and they can be very mobile these days.
"We want to remind the public that police can't fight this alone and we do rely on the help of the community."
Inspector Conners added that "any firearm in the community" was a concern.
"If the community has any information about any suspicious activity and any drug activity in the area, we urge them to contact police and contact Crimestoppers."