Cassandra Sainsbury: Accused cocaine smuggler


So many questions on this one folks. I waited and hung back a few days to see what else was revealed to the public. Shame the way is being trickled out…

Not to sell papers or anything surely?

I personally feel she has been busted red handed and used a well-drilled script when caught.

Shame the family in OZ was NOT aware of it and spilled their guts as a family would do. Not smart though…Cheers Robbo

Please Make comment


ACCUSED Australian drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury posted a series of cryptic social media comments in the lead-up to her ill-fated world trip, which culminated in her arrest at Colombia’s biggest airport last month.

It has already been reported that the 22-year-old Adelaide woman made a series of international

trips to and from Australia in the six months preceding her journey to South America, where authorities allegedly found almost 6kg of cocaine inside her suitcase on April 11.

But early this year an opportunity apparently arose that seemed too good for the former personal trainer to pass up.

In a strangely prophetic Instagram post, Ms Sainsbury appears to have been counting down the days until a life-changing event.

The now deleted January 10 post read: “50 days until I make the biggest move I’ve yet to do … 50 days until everything changes.”

She added the following hashtags: #newbeginnings #newyearnewme #2k17 #dreamjob #bondiliving #life #change #love #50daysleft #goodthingsarecoming.

On January 24, she wrote another post, which has also since been deleted, which read: “Moving interstate driving me cray cray! #save me! Not long before the big move now, super excited and can’t wait to leave so much baggage behind.”

Cassie Sainsbury pictured following her arrest at El Dorado International Airport on April 11. Picture: Supplied Source:AFP

Cassandra Sainsbury Instagram images. cassieleigh_p_t Source:Instagram

 

It is not clear when Ms Sainsbury departed from Australia or from which port but both Instagram posts contain hashtags indicating travel or relocation to Sydney, possibly around March 1 (when the 50 day count down ended).

Her social media trail places her in China later that month and in the US in early April.

On April 3, Ms Sainsbury instagrammed from Los Angeles airport, complaining about the temperature contrast between the two countries: “LAX — so busy yet, so organised. On another note. Going from China’s lovely 27 degree weather to LA’s 7 degree weather is killing me!”

She appears to have caught a connecting flight to Bogota from LA because authorities record her as having arrived in Colombia on the same day — April 3.

On April 8, she posted a photograph from Bogota along with the comment: “Can’t complain about an all expenses paid work trip, in which (sic) is mainly holiday very little work. It’s the simple things that are the true beauty in the world. Mother Nature has been putting on quite the show for me over here.”

This Jan 24 post mentions a move interstate.Source: Supplied

Cassie’s cryptic but prophetic January 10 Instagram post.Source: Supplied

 

Ms Sainsbury’s family has claimed she was on a working holiday to promote her personal training business — a claim which appears to be supported by Ms Sainsbury’s Instagram posts which are riddled with fitness-related hashtags.

But her fiance Scotty Broadbridge has told a completely different story, claiming she hadn’t done any personal training work for months and that her most recent job involved “helping to manage” a cleaning company.

“Although Cassie is a PT, she is not currently personal training and hasn’t been for 6 months. I don’t know why that was mentioned at all,” Mr Broadbridge wrote on Ms Sainsbury’s fundraising page before it was deactivated on Monday night after raising more than $4000.

“She helped manage a commercial cleaning business that had both national and international clients. Unfortunately it’s very easy for tourists to get targeted, especially in Colombia.”

Ms Sainsbury’s April 3 post from LAX.Source: Supplied

 

Ms Sainsbury’s April 3 post from LAX.Source:Supplied

 

Mr Broadbridge’s sister Jasmin also defended Ms Sainsbury on social media.

“We’re all supposed to unite in times like this but I’ve been reading the most hateful and negative comments that people have been writing about someone who is a total stranger to them,” she wrote on Facebook.

“You can assume what you want, but Cassie is a beautiful and strong person and everyone who knows her, even just a little bit, knows that there is absolutely no way she is guilty.”

Ms Sainsbury was moments from arriving at Gate 32 at Colombia’s El Dorado International Airport when narcotics police swooped on a tip-off from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Her luggage tags show she had successfully checked in to board Flight AV120 from Bogota to London’s Heathrow Airport, flying with Avianca Airways, Colombia’s national airline since 1919.

Cassie Sainsbury, 22, and her fiancee Scotty Broadbridge. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook

 

Police allegedly found 5.8kg of cocaine wrapped in black plastic and stuffed into 15 boxes of headphones that she claimed to have bought on the cheap from a man she befriended who had been acting as her translator in the Colombian capital.

Ms Sainsbury told her mother Lisa Evans that she packed the headphones into her suitcase without checking them and had no knowledge of the hidden contraband.

“I can’t believe this has happened to an innocent young woman,” her grandmother Barbara Johns said.

“Anyone who knows Cassie, knows she did not do this. It can happen to anyone.”

Ms Sainsbury is currently awaiting trial in Bogota’s most notorious women’s prison, El Buen Pastor (which means “The Good Shepherd”), on drug trafficking charges and faces up to 25 years if convicted.

However that sentence is likely to be reduced to six years if she pleads guilty and four years if she agrees to identify others involved. The latter option puts Ms Sainsbury between a rock and a hard place, given that spilling the beans on alleged drug syndicate members could see her labelled a snitch, thereby endangering her life inside jail.

Accused drug mule’s fiance and lawyer address the media

Cassie Sainsbury’s fiance Scott Boradbridge says he will support the accused Adelaide drug mule

THE fiance of accused Adelaide drug mule Cassie Sainsbury has told a packed media conference he believes she is innocent and had no involvement with the drug trade.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Scott Broadbridge said he had “no doubt that Cassie is innocent of these charges and I will support her no matter how long this takes”.

But her Adelaide lawyer, Steven Kenny, who was hired by Ms Sainsbury in a phone call, said her court date could be two to three years away if her case went to trial.

“It won’t be speedy, that’s the advice I’ve had from Colombia,” he said.

Mr Broadbridge, who kept his head down as he read from a prepared statement, said he and “Cass” were engaged and he intended to marry her.

“I know that there are many unanswered questions in this case and I intend to work with the lawyers to get to the bottom of them,” he said.

Calling her “the delight of his life” he said he knew she was not a drug smuggler.

“I know that she is not involved in the drug trade, I know that she was not deliberately taking drugs or carrying drugs anywhere,” he said.

Mr Kenny, who defended former detainee David Hicks and was the first lawyer to visit Guantánamo Bay, said he had great faith in the Colombian legal system, which carried the presumption of innocence, and he asked the media to not prejudge his new client’s guilt or innocence.

“I would like to think Cassie’s defence will be run in a court in Colombia, not in the Adelaide media,” he said.

Scott Broadbridge, fiance of Cassie Sainsbury, with Adelaide lawyer Steven Kenny. Picture: Greg Higgs

Mr Broadbridge said he hoped to fly to Colombia to visit her soon, and to prove her innocence.

Mr Kenny could not answer questions about which cleaning company Ms Sainsbury worked for, who bought her ticket out of Colombia in Hong Kong or how long she had been travelling, and said detailed questions such as this would be followed up through her Colombian legal team.

He said the first thing he could do from Adelaide was to make sure she had good defence in Colombia. Mr Kenny accepted the job pro bono because he had legal friends in Colombia and felt he could help.

“We are working with them and taking what we think are appropriate steps,” he said.

The aspiring model and fitness trainer was arrested at an airport in Colombia with 5.8kg of cocaine in her luggage. Despite the evidence against her, Mr Broadbridge said he loved her and believed in her and was doing everything to try to get her out.

Ingrid Hernandes, Bogota hotel manager discusses Cassandra Sainsbury stay

Ms Sainsbury, 22, is being held in Bogota’s El Buen Pastor women’s jail after she was busted with the cocaine — which was hidden inside packages of headphones — in her luggage as she was about to fly out of Colombia.

Mr Broadbridge said that despite the collapse of her gym, personal trainer Ms Sainsbury was debt-free when she jetted overseas on the ill-fated trip.

“There absolutely were no debts. She ran a business and it didn’t work out. She’s just an ordinary girl with aspirations,” he said.

“I’m just scared for her and don’t want to jeopardise anything as it’s early stages. We’re worried for her future, she’s not doing great.”

But his decision to “break his silence” drew criticism from members of Ms Sainsbury’s family, who have been told not to comment by her Colombian lawyer. Mr Kenny said some of the reporting in the media could damage Ms Sainsbury’s case and that he and Mr Broadbridge were having discussions with Ms Sainbury’s family.

Mr Kenny said he was asked by Ms Sainsbury in a brief phone call to act for her and he had no argument with Sydney lawyer, Jay Williams, who had until now been her only Australian lawyer.

“Jay is a barrister, he’s not a solicitor, and he is not in Adelaide which I think is why Scott came to see me,” he said.

Asked about her state of mind, he said it was a short call but that Ms Sainsbury was “a young woman in a foreign jail, in a foreign country, you can draw your own conclusions from that.”

She was being visited regularly by Australian consular officials who were reporting back to the family on her welfare.

Cassie Sainsbury with the 5.8kg of cocaine she is accused of smuggling out of Columbia. Photo: Columbia Antinarcotics Police.

Sister Khala Sainsbury said the truth would come out soon.

“It has gone too far,” she said of rumours coming out of Yorketown, on Yorke Peninsula.

The allegations first emerged when a woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Advertiser Ms Sainsbury left the Yorke Peninsula owing several people money.

Others have backed the claims.

But the landlord of the Yorketown gym previously used by Ms Sainsbury, and the father of her ex-boyfriend, say she had no debts with them.

On Thursday, Nick Paphitis said Ms Sainsbury had paid all her rent before she moved to Adelaide.

Claims she owed ex-boyfriend Luke Tape money borrowed to help set up Yorke’s Gym were rejected by his father, Richard.

Cassie Sainsbury: What we know so far

 

It comes as her Bogota lawyer Orlando Herran said Australian diplomats were trying to convince Colombian authorities to let Ms Sainsbury serve her almost certain jail sentence at home.

She is being advised to accept the charges against her in order to reduce her sentence after she was caught with the drugs.

Mr Herran said diplomats were working on a deal that would see her move from El Buen Pastor women’s jail to one in Australia, but only after a conviction was recorded.

Ms Sainsbury posted a series of cryptic social media comments in the lead-up to her ill-fated world trip, which culminated in her arrest at Colombia’s biggest airport last month.

It has already been reported that the Adelaide woman made a series of international trips to and from Australia in the six months preceding her journey to South America.

But early this year, an opportunity apparently arose that seemed too good for the former personal trainer to pass up.

Cassandra Sainsbury with her fiance Scott Broadbridge. Picture: Facebook

In a strangely prophetic Instagram post, Ms Sainsbury appears to have been counting down the days until a life-changing event.

The now deleted January 10 post read: “50 days until I make the biggest move I’ve yet to do … 50 days until everything changes.”

She added the following hashtags: #newbeginnings #newyearnewme #2k17 #dreamjob #bondiliving #life #change #love #50daysleft #goodthingsarecoming.

On January 24, she wrote another post, which has also since been deleted, which read: “Moving interstate driving me cray cray! #save me! Not long before the big move now, super excited and can’t wait to leave so much baggage behind.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Australian consular staff were continuing to provide assistance to Ms Sainsbury, but did not have an embassy in Bogota and the assistance was being organised “from outside Colombia”.

update

How Cassandra Sainsbury’s ticket reportedly got her caught

Cassandra Sainsbury’s father wants his daughter to come home
Charis Chang and Sarah Blake in Bogota

THE father of accused Aussie drug smuggler Cassandra Sainsbury has broken his silence, three weeks after his daughter landed in a Colombian prison.

 

Stuart Sainsbury told Nine News he is standing by the 22-year-old because “a father’s love is unconditional and never stops, regardless of what happens”.

He said he does not believe she is “a drug mule”.

“I don’t believe she was a drug mule, she’s just my kid. What parent thinks their kid is a drug mule? I just love her and I can’t change what’s happened. I just have to be here when she comes home.”

Earlier, he told reporters “I don’t want to be tied up in all this,” the Mail Online reported.

“Listen, whatever is going on has nothing to do with me, and I have nothing to say about it,” he said from his home in Yorketown, South Australia.

“You can ring my lawyer if you don’t understand me. It’s got nothing to do with me.”

He told the Adelaide Advertiser that his “love doesn’t change no matter what (your children) do” and said no Australian officials had been in touch with him.

The comments follow revelations that Cassie was caught because the US Drug Enforcement Agency alerted Colombian authorities to their suspicions about her plane ticket, reports suggest.

Ms Sainsbury, 22, was arrested at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota on April 12 after a tip-off about the 5.8kg of cocaine allegedly hidden inside what she thought were 18 boxes of headphones in her suitcase.

The South Australian is now being held in a women’s jail in Colombia and is reportedly struggling to adjust to her new life inside prison.

An American woman who walked free from El Buen Pastor prison on Tuesday after serving a 17 month sentence, told Newscorp she had helped support Cassie, along with another woman inside the jail.

“Because she is so young there are a lot of people trying to take advantage of her,” said the woman, who did not wish to be named.

Stuart Sainsbury, the father of accused Aussie drug smuggler, Cassandra. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

“Not only that, when she was at the police station they took most of her stuff — all of her clothes, her money.”

The woman said Cassie was receiving some support from Australian consular staff but was told she would only receive a visit every few months.

“She’s just wearing a sweater and pants and a top, the same ones. I offered her something but she said no thank you.”

Meanwhile it has emerged that Ms Sainsbury may have been arrested after a tip-off from US authorities.

“We found her because of an alert from the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Agency),” Bogota airport’s narcotics chief, Commander Rodrigo Soler, told News Corp Australia Network.

He said she had cleared security, checked her bag and was minutes away from boarding her flight when the alert came up.

“The alert said check this person so we pulled her aside and we searched her luggage and we arrested her. We asked ‘is this your bag, did you pack this?’. She said ‘yes’.”

Soler told The Australian Ms Sainsbury’s ticket, which was bought at the last minute by an unknown party in Hong Kong for a trip from Australia to Bogota via London, was one of several red flags that caused North American agencies to alert Colombian police.

The Adelaide woman’s family insists she is innocent and was set up by a Colombian man she met after arriving in the South American country on April 3 during a working holiday.

They say she bought the headphones from him to give as gifts to family and friends at her upcoming wedding.

A photo released by Colombia's National Police press shows Australian Cassandra Sainsbury in handcuffs after she was arrested at the international airport in Bogota, Colombia. Picture: Colombia's National Police via AP

A photo released by Colombia’s National Police press shows Australian Cassandra Sainsbury in handcuffs after she was arrested at the international airport in Bogota, Colombia. Picture: Colombia’s National Police via APSource:AP

An expert on the South American drug trade says there was no way the former fitness trainer would have the connections to sell almost $2 million worth of cocaine, and someone must have been waiting to receive it in Australia.

Rusty Young, wrote the book Marching Powder and is about to release a book Colombiano after living in Colombia for eight years. He said the South Australian woman’s story didn’t add up.

“Her version of events is not consistent with the way drug rings operate,” Mr Young told news.com.au yesterday.

“If you were planting $1 million worth of drugs in someone’s baggage, how were you intending to recover the drugs back in Australia?”

Ms Sainsbury’s sister Khala posted on a fundraising page that the 22-year-old was detained for drug trafficking at the airport in Bogota “waiting to depart back to Australia”. But it’s since been reported that Cassie may have intended to continue on her working holiday to make presentations in London, France and Hong Kong.

Her sister said she was not due back in Australia until Easter Saturday, April 15.

It’s unclear where the drugs were ultimately headed but Mr Young believes if they were being shipped to Australia, someone would have been waiting for them to come in.

“There’s no way a 22-year-old could have the connections to distribute and sell almost 6kg of cocaine,” he said.

“There must have been someone in Australia to receive those drugs.”

Mr Young also dismissed fears that Ms Sainsbury could be targeted by cartels while imprisoned in Colombia.

“That’s absolute nonsense,” he said. “Cartels don’t run drug mules through airports, they run tonnes of cocaine. There’s no professional Colombian organisation behind this.”

Despite concerns about Ms Sainsbury’s safety, Mr Young said he thought she would be physically safe in the overcrowded El Buen Pastor women’s jail.

“They would have put her in the foreign section with foreign inmates,” he said.

Australian diplomatic staff have also reportedly delivered her a mattress and blanket to use in her cell.

Mr Young said he also thought Ms Sainsbury would get a fair trial in Colombia, although justice would be slow.

Even if she plead guilty, Mr Young said it would probably still take six to nine months for her to go through the justice system. A trial would probably take three years just to reach a verdict and would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Mr Young said his thoughts were with Ms Sainsbury and her family.

“They are in for a long and difficult journey,” he said.

A handout photo made available by the press office of the Colombian Anti-narcotics Police, on 01 May 2017 shows Australian citizen Cassandra Sainsbury during her detention with 5.8 kilos of cocaine at the International Airport the Dorado, in Bogota, Colombia, on 11 April 2017. Picture: EPA/Col Anti-narcotics Police

A handout photo made available by the press office of the Colombian Anti-narcotics Police, on 01 May 2017 shows Australian citizen Cassandra Sainsbury during her detention with 5.8 kilos of cocaine at the International Airport the Dorado, in Bogota, Colombia, on 11 April 2017. Picture: EPA/Col Anti-narcotics PoliceSource:AAP

Ms Sainsbury’s family has previously said the 22-year-old travelled to Colombia on April 3 for a working holiday. It’s unclear what visa she was travelling on and what job she was doing overseas.

There is no working holiday maker visa arrangement between Australia and Colombia, and working visas require Australians to prove they have a skill set Colombians don’t possess.

“The most common work visa would be for English teachers,” Mr Young said.

But Australians can enter Colombia for 90 days as a visitor without a visa.

It has also emerged that Ms Sainsbury was reportedly arrested following a tip-off from international drug agencies and her travel plans had raised suspicions, anti narco trafficking control, Colonel Rodrigo Soler, told The Australian.

The South Australian was arrested minutes before she was due to fly back to Australia from El Dorado International Airport in Bogota.

Colombian police have released a photo of the young Aussie in handcuffs standing in front of a table lined with 18 packages, which Ms Sainsbury thought were headphones she bought as wedding gifts and presents for her friends and family.

Jorge Mendoza, the ports and airports director for Colombia’s anti-narcotic police, says he doubted Ms Sainsbury didn’t know the drugs were hidden inside the packages.

“She could possibly be a drug mule,” Mendoza told ABC radio through an interpreter on Tuesday.

“In going through security we found she had 18 packets inside her luggage, which even before opening it we found covered in plastic.

“Her explanation is not credible. Everyone we catch says they didn’t know it was in their luggage.”

Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Triana, head of the anti-narcotics police at Bogota’s international airport was also sceptical about the Australian’s innocence.

He said Ms Sainsbury’s claims that she was deceived are probably untrue and in any case don’t excuse her actions.

“Everyone who is caught says exactly the same thing,” said Lt Colonel Triana, who added that many foreigners are lured by false promises of fast fortunes.”

As tourism to Colombia has boomed over the past decade, the country’s drug cartels are increasingly recruiting foreigners to smuggle cocaine out of the country. Police have arrested 19 foreign drug mules this year alone, Lt Colonel Triana said.

The Adelaide woman’s family insists she is innocent and was set up by a Colombian man she met after arriving in the South American country on April 3 during a working holiday.

But public comments made by her family about her case may have unwittingly put the 22-year-old in danger, The Australian has reported.

Senior Australian lawyers familiar with the case told the paper that if the cartels found out what Ms Sainsbury’s mother had been saying, she could be in danger inside the notorious El Buen Pastor jail where she is being held.

El Buen Pastor prison for women in Bogota, Colombia. Source: Roger Triana

El Buen Pastor prison for women in Bogota, Colombia. Source: Roger TrianaSource:Supplied

El Buen Pastor is Bogota’s biggest women’s prison, and inmates live in overcrowded and filthy conditions alongside violent criminals, their children and babies and corrupt guards who steal food brought to prisoners by their families.

On Monday, Ms Sainsbury’s mother Lisa Evans told KIIS that her daughter was facing a potential jail sentence of between 18 to 25 years, but if she pleaded guilty this would be reduced.

She said the minimum sentence was six years but this could be reduced to four if Ms Sainsbury provided information about the man who gave her the drugs.

Ms Evans said Cassie had trusted the man who gave her the drugs, and he had been acting as her translator in Colombia.

“He had been helping her all week, taking her around and showing her places, and just being a nice guy,” Ms Evans said.

It is understood lawyers in Australia have now advised the family not to make any further public comments and to take down an online fundraising campaign on FundRazr.

The campaign has raised more than $4000 for Ms Sainsbury and remains active, although many of the posts express scepticism about Cassie’s story.

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested on drug charges in Colombia.

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested on drug charges in Colombia.Source:Instagram

Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine and its police among the best-trained to detect and stop drug smuggling thanks in part to billions of dollars in US anti-narcotics aid that has strengthened law enforcement.

— With AP/AAP


Cassie Sainsbury Faces Up To 25 Years For 5.8kg Cocaine Haul

The Adelaide personal trainer says she was set up by a man she had just met.

01/05/2017 10:22 AM AEST | Updated 01/05/2017 2:30 PM AEST

GoFundMe

An Adelaide based personal trainer and volunteer firefighter is facing up to 25 years in a Colombian prison after 5.8 kilograms of cocaine was found in her suitcase.

Cassandra Sainsbury was arrested for drug trafficking offences at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá when she went to catch her flight back to Australia following an eight-day working holiday in Colombia on April 11.

But her family say she is “naive” and had been set up by a man she had met who gave her what she believed was a package of headphones.

Sainsbury’s sister, Khala, told the media that a man she met while travelling offered to bulk buy the headphones cheaply for her, which she wanted as gifts for her bridal party at her upcoming wedding to fiance Scott Broadbridge.

Anyone that knows her would say she is a kind, loving, happy kind of girl.”

“Cassie, being young, said she’d do it. And it came to her already packaged and sealed so she put it straight in her suitcase not thinking,” Khala said. “She’s very naive.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to HuffPost Australia that they are assisting an Australian woman arrested in Colombia, but declined to give further details “due to our privacy obligations”.

Colombia is the world’s largest cocaine producer, providing more than half of the world’s illicit supply — 487 tons annually. Profits from the drug amount to around 1 per cent of the nation’s GDP and provide livelihoods for around 65,000 farming families in remote areas, according to UN estimates.

But the Government has cracked down on the drug trade in recent years in an attempt to clean up its image, with heavy penalties for those caught trafficking. The maximum penalty for trafficking cocaine is 25 years.

The Adelaide woman’s mother, Lisa Evans, told KIIS FM that Sainsbury is innocent, but is considering pleading guilty to reduce her sentence.

Facebook
Cassie Sainsbury with her fiance and “love of her life” Scott Broadbridge. The couple were preparing to wed early next year.

“If she pleads guilty the minimum is six years,” Evans said.

“If Cassie gives information about the person that gave her the package it may come down to four.”

Evans reportedly told Channel Nine’s Today Show she could not believe someone could do this to her daughter.

“Cassie is just, ‘I didn’t do it mum, you have got to get me out’ and crying hysterically,” Evans said.

Sainsbury has been denied bail and is currently in the notorious El Buen Pastor women’s prison, where she is sharing a cell with up to 250 women in squalid conditions. She is due to face trial in two months’ time, her family says.

The 22-year-old’s sister has set up a fundraising page to raise money towards Cassie’s legal costs.

“Cassie would never do anything like what she has been accused off,” Khala wrote on the page.

“Anyone that knows her would say she is a kind, loving, happy kind of girl. She would help anyone out in need.”

But the page has drawn criticism from some posters, who accused the family “begging” for money

After four days, the campaign had only raised $2,610 towards its $15,000 goal.


Cassandra Sainsbury: Accused cocaine smuggler ‘would have known drugs were in her bag’

03/05/17

An Australian woman used unsophisticated methods to try to conceal 18 packets of cocaine in her luggage and her family’s claims she was set up are not believable, Colombian drug authorities say.

Key points:

  • Colombian drug police say Australian woman would have known the drugs were in the bag
  • Cocaine in headphones “not really a very sophisticated mode of concealment”
  • Cassandra Sainsbury faces up to 20 years in jail

Adelaide’s Cassandra Sainsbury, 22, was arrested minutes before boarding a flight at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport with 5.8 kilograms of cocaine wrapped in plastics bags and packed within boxes of headphones.

Family of the former personal trainer said she was an unwitting drug mule and the headphones were bought as gifts for bridal party guests.

Colonel Jorge Mendoza, the head of ports and airports for the Colombian drug enforcement police department, dismissed the family’s version of events, saying she would have known the narcotics were in her bags.

“There was not really a very sophisticated mode of concealment,” he said.

“The drugs were wrapped in bags, 18 packets as I said previously, inside her suitcase.

“So, it is difficult to say that she did not know that the substance was inside her suitcase.”

Ms Sainsbury’s sister Khala said the 22-year-old was in Colombia for a working holiday and the headphones were purchased from a contact.

Colonel Mendoza has previously said the arrest came as the result of a tip-off and was indistinguishable from a growing number of drug cases involving foreigners.

Colonel Mendoza has said he was confident the seizure would lead to jail time and depending on the quality of the drugs, the maximum penalty could be 20 years’ imprisonment.

A Colombian lawyer advised the family she plead guilty to reduce the sentence to a possible six years.

Ms Sainsbury’s family has raised thousands of dollars online to fund her legal defence and support her.

Ms Sainsbury has been transferred to the Colombian capital’s notorious El Buen Pastor women’s prison.

Joanna Adams, the daughter of a lawyer who has given legal advice to Ms Sainsbury, has told the ABC’s AM program her father said the Australian “has her up and downs”.

“Some days she’s good and some days she’s very bad,” Ms Adams said.

The 22-year-old was preparing to board a flight to London on her way back to Australia when she was arrested.

AP/ABC


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Mariosarti restaurant owner Daniel Milos charged with cocaine trafficking


Mariosarti restaurant owner Daniel Milos charged with cocaine trafficking

Updated 22 minutes ago

The owner of an upmarket Brisbane restaurant and two of his employees have been arrested as part of a police operation targeting a drug and ice network.

Daniel Bernard Milos, 40, was arrested on Friday, along with four others after police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission swooped to close a 14-month operation.

The Toowong-based restaurant, Mariosarti, was raided by police as part of the probe.

More than 30 charges were laid and drugs with an estimated street value of $750,000 were seized.

Milos, of Fig Tree Pocket, was charged with trafficking cocaine.

Others arrested were named as Ryan David McIver, 29, Brad Matthew Watt, 42, Rebecca Jane Graham, 38 and a 35-year-old man who was given a drug diversion notice.

McIver is listed on the restaurant’s website as the head chef, while Graham describes herself as the restaurant’s payroll manager on her LinkedIn profile.

The group is expected to face court on Saturday morning.

Investigators commenced proceedings to confiscate cars, property, and assets under Queensland’s proceeds of crime laws.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said police remained at several properties continuing to search for evidence.

“As a result of our operation we have targeted a prominent Brisbane businessman and the message that we’d like to get across here is if you wish to distribute dangerous drugs in our area we will target you no matter who you are,” he said.

“We will be alleging that this is a sophisticated network that’s been distributing drugs in our area.

“Cocaine is a drug of choice of the wealthy I would say — we are seeing an increase in cocaine on the streets in Queensland.

“We usually don’t run this type of cocaine operation, this is probably one of the biggest cocaine jobs that the Queensland Police Service has run.”

Topics: drug-offences, crime, law-crime-and-justice, cocaine

First posted about 3 hours ago


 

Mariosarti restaurant owner Daniel Milos on drug charges

  • Jorge Branco and Toby Crockford

A prominent Brisbane restaurant owner, whose brother was bludgeoned to death, has been arrested on drug charges.

Police executed 11 search warrants on Friday morning in what has been described as one of the biggest cocaine operations in the history of Queensland police

One of the premises raided was Toowong Italian restaurant Mariosarti, with owner Daniel Milos arrested. Police also raided 10 other addresses across the Gold Coast and Brisbane, including a Fig Tree Pocket home.

Police said five people in total had been arrested on 33 drug-related charges and expected further charges to be laid at a later date. The others in custody have been described as Mr. Milos’ “business associates”.

The searches and arrests were carried out as part of Operation Oscar Decimal, which started in February 2016 and saw the Queensland Police Service working with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Drug and Serious Crime Group Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker estimated the street value of the cocaine seized during the 14-month operation to be between $750,000 and $1 million. He said a significant quantity had been seized as part of Friday’s searches, along with high-end vehicles.

He described the operation as a “sophisticated network”, saying investigations were ongoing but added police had targeted a “prominent business person”.

“If you wish to distribute dangerous drugs in our area, we will target you, no matter who you are,” he said.

Superintendent Wacker said cocaine was a drug of choice for the wealthy and police had seen an increase in cocaine on the streets. He added the sharing of information across Queensland law enforcement agencies had led to the establishment and success of Operation Oscar Decimal.

Mr. Milos’ chef brother Peter, with whom he owned the restaurant, was bludgeoned to death in 2014. James Thomas Howell was acquitted in February of the chef’s murder.

ACIC state manager Charlie Carver said the result was significant due to the large amount of drugs seized and disruption to the distribution network.

“Many criminals run so-called front-end shops and businesses which will appear at first blush to actually be legitimate,” he said.

“However once you dig into the investigation and you look through what’s actually been happening, you find the illegal activity which is used to launder funds and also fund further illicit activities.”

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Drug ring raids net historic $360m cocaine haul


abc.net.au

Drug ring raids net historic $360m cocaine haul

By Siobhan Fogarty

Updated 18 minutes ago

Thu 29 Dec 2016, 12:17pm

A former NRL player and a Bondi businessman have been linked to a drug ring after New South Wales Police recorded the biggest cocaine haul in Australia’s history.

Key points:

  • 1.1 tonnes of cocaine worth $360 million seized by AFP and NSW police
  • Two seizures of cocaine make the biggest haul of the drug in Australian history
  • 15 men arrested including a former NRL player and a Bondi businessman

The joint strike force between Australian Federal Police and the New South Wales Police drug squad arrested 15 men and seized about $360 million worth of cocaine.

Former Roosters player John Tobin is one of the accused smugglers, along with Bondi businessman Darren Mohr.

The criminal syndicate was allegedly using a trawler based at the Sydney Fish Market to meet a “mother ship” from South America to bring drugs into the country.

About 500 kilograms of the drug was seized on Christmas Day at Brooklyn on the central coast of New South Wales.

Police allege 600 kilograms was seized in Tahiti and 32 kilograms of heroin was found in Fiji with both loads destined for the market in Australia.

Acting Assistant Commissioner, Chris Sheehan, said the police operation had been running for almost three years and escalated with the arrests over the Christmas period.

“The criminal syndicate we have dismantled over the last few days was a robust, resilient and determined syndicate,” he said.

“This is the largest cocaine seizure we have had in Australia.

“It posed an ongoing and continued threat to the Australian community and without the work of our police, would still be in action today.”

Tip-off from community led to bust

Assistant Police Commissioner, Mark Jenkins said a member of the community gave them a tip-off two and a half years ago that led to the cocaine haul.

“As a result, over one tonne of drugs has been prevented from reaching the streets of New South Wales and harming the community,” he said.

“That small piece of information has resulted in 15 arrests and a large seizure of drugs.”

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

Video: Police seized 500kg worth of cocaine in NSW (ABC News)

Officers allege the group of men, aged from 29 to 63, are involved in the Australian criminal syndicate responsible for the attempted imports.

They have been charged with serious drug importation offences and eleven of the 15 men have appeared before Parramatta Local Court and were refused bail.

A 49-year-old man and a 63-year-old man are due to appear before Central Local Court today.

Two other men, a 33-year-old and 39-year-old are also expected to front Nowra Local Court today after they were arrested at Ulladulla yesterday.

Police said they were confident all alleged members of the criminal syndicate were in custody.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

Video: Arrests made after $360m worth of cocaine seized (ABC News)

Topics: crime, law-crime-and-justice, drug-offences, nsw

First posted about 4 hours agoThu 29 Dec 2016, 7:48am


smh.com.au

Police smash cocaine ring at Sydney Fish Market in Christmas Day raid

By Rachel Olding, Latika Bourke, Rachel Browne

A former rugby league first grade player, a Bondi entrepreneur and a several fishermen are among 15 men arrested on Christmas Day in a multimillion-dollar cocaine ring bust.

Police will allege the men were imported more than a tonne of cocaine via the iconic Sydney Fish Market and other NSW ports.

Australian Federal Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Chris Sheehan described the alleged syndicate as “robust, resilient and determined”.

He told a packed Sydney press conference that the 15 arrested men were “determined to exploit some of the most vulnerable members of the community.”

The seizure of 500kg of cocaine in Sydney, 600kg of the drug in Tahiti and 32kg of heroin in Fiji make it the largest drug bust of its kind in Australia.

NSW Police State Crime Commander Mark Jenkins said all the drugs originated in South America before being transferred across the South Pacific by ship.

Several of the men were arrested on Christmas Day as they docked a shipping vessel named Dalrymple at the Sydney Fish Markets.

It’s alleged the boat was used to ferry drugs between NSW ports and a larger ship stationed out at sea that held drugs smuggled from Chile.

Operation Okesi, comprising officers from NSW Police, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force, started over two-and-a-half-years after police received a “thread” of information.

Since then, five alleged importations by the sophisticated syndicate have been thwarted.

It includes the seizure of 32 kilograms of heroin by authorities in Fiji in December 2014 and the seizure of 606 kilograms of cocaine by authorities in Tahiti in March.

Officers then observed the Dalrymple depart the Sydney Fish Markets on December 3 and travel to the Central Coast. The vessel was monitored by Maritime Border Command and the NSW Police’s Marine Area Command.

On Christmas night, officers watched the crew launch a small one-man dinghy which allegedly travelled to Parlsey Bay at Brooklyn on the NSW Central Coast and met with two other men.

All three were arrested and about 500 kilograms of cocaine was seized from the dinghy.

Several other men were arrested on board the Dalrymple vessel as it docked at Sydney Fish Market on Christmas night.

A police source told Fairfax Media the syndicate thought they could take advantage of the festive season by striking on Christmas Day.

Authorities valued the total amount of cocaine seized at $360 million.

Among the men arrested is former Eastern Suburbs Roosters player John Roland Boyd Tobin, who played 125 matches as lock forward in the 1980s.

Bondi entrepreneur Darren John Mohr was also arrested. He lists his occupation as the owner Martini Motors and is also the former owner of the Bondi Rescue HQ cafe.

His Instagram profile shows a love of Harley Davidson motorbikes, Rolls Royce cars and being shirtless.

Police also arrested Reuben John Dawe, who lists his occupation as a maritime worker and commercial fisherman Joseph Pirrello, 63.

Other man arrested in the sting include Simon Peter Spero, 56, Graham Toa Toa, 42, Stuart Ayrton, 54, Jonathan Cooper, 29, Richard Lipton, 37, Frank D’Agostino, 54, and Benjamin Sara, 31.

They were all refused bail in Parramatta Bail Court on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Two other men, extradited from Tasmania and Queensland, will appear in Parramatta Bail Court on Thursday as well as two men arrested in the Nowra area.

Footage released by police show multiple men being arrested in the dark from on-board the Dalrymple fishing vessel.

One of the men shown with his hands tied behind his back is wearing only a pair of boxer shorts covered in cartoon pictures of crocodiles.

“This operation has been running for more than two-and-a-half years and culminated over the Christmas period,” a police statement reads.

The men were aged between 29 and 63 years old.  Police are due to address the media at 11am on Thursday.

Gold Coast Titans’ Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Kalifa Faifai Loa stood down, facing court over allegedly arranging to supply cocaine


I’m sick to death of sport and drugs. How greedy are the players (all 3 codes will be caught up in this for sure) Patting young starry eyes kids on the head, signing autographs whilst on their mobiles trying to score coke and it seems whilst they have cocaine habits.

It is disgusting and ruining sports, who can our kids look up to these days. they are falling like ten pins for gross acts, greedy acts, illegal acts the list goes on. treating women like shit, taking drugs, gambling, getting so drunk they perform all kinds of things…God help sport in Oz.

23/02/15

Representative stars Greg Bird and Dave Taylor are among five Gold Coast Titans players to have been stood down after being implicated in the drugs scandal currently engulfing the club.

Bird, Taylor and winger Kalifa Faifai Loa were stood down on Sunday after they and former Titan Joe Vickery were issued with notices to appear in court for allegedly arranging the supply of cocaine.

It comes two days after it was revealed on Friday that hooker Beau Falloon, Jamie Dowling and the Queensland Reds’ Karmichael Hunt would also face court as part of the same Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation into drug trafficking.

The CCC released a statement confirming four men had been served with notices to appear in court on counts of supplying drugs, one of whom faces seven counts.

Titans chief executive Graham Annesley told reporters on Sunday the players would be forced to front the board and “explain why action should not be taken against them for reputational damage the club has incurred”.

“We expect that that will take a little bit of time because at the moment we have very little information to make that assessment,” Annesley said.

I apologise to everyone associated with the game [and] everyone that’s trying to take this game forward for these setbacks that are holding the game back.

Graham Annesley

“But over the coming days we hope we will have more information and the players will be able to appear before the board.”

Taylor, Bird and Faifai Loa will face court on March 9.

“I’ve run out of words to explain it,” Annesley said.

“Let’s not forget these players haven’t been found guilty of anything … [but] to be constantly dragged through these types of scandals is incredibly damaging to the club.”

The scandal comes two months after Bird was removed as co-captain after a public urination incident in Byron Bay.

Despite a number of controversies hitting the cash-strapped club in recent times, Annesley stressed he would not be abandoning the team.

“This is another bad day for the club, and it’s a bad day for the game,” he added.

“I apologise to everyone associated with the game [and] everyone that’s trying to take this game forward for these setbacks that are holding the game back.”

A CCC statement on Friday said Hunt, Falloon and Dowling, as well as an unidentified 22-year-old woman, would appear in Southport Magistrates Court on March 5.

The NRL’s Integrity Unit will help the Titans decide the fate of any players found guilty.

Titans coach, Neil Henry, says Falloon and Dowling will face further sanctions if they are found guilty in court.

“The Integrity Unit are across this as well. They have a big say in what happens in these situations and that’s fine,” Henry said after the Titans lost a trial game against the Cowboys in Cairns on Saturday night.

“We’ll have to be guided by what they recommend as well and that’s how it has been for every team.”

Still without a major sponsor for the 2015 season, the Titans no longer have a training base after leaving The Southport School as a result of the allegations against Falloon and Dowling.


Gold Coast Titans crisis: Five burning questions surrounding the club as the drug saga unfolds

NRL boss Dave Smith disappointed for the fans

NRL boss Dave Smith disappointed for the fans

CAN the Titans survive the cocaine crisis? Will the five players charged ever play again?

There are a series of key issues Graham Annesley will have to tackle as the drug saga involving five of the Gold Coast’s current players unfolds.

We look at five burning questions hovering over the Titans.

1. What are the futures for the five Titans players charged?

Even with the presumption of innocence in the courts, Titans CEO Graham Annesley has made it clear the five current players facing drug charges are in line for the sack.

Addressing the media on Sunday, Annesley said the club would be conducting “a separate contractual process” and would ask Greg Bird, Dave Taylor, Beau Falloon, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Jamie Dowling to meet with the board and “explain why action should not be taken against them for the reputational damage the club has incurred as a result of the players putting themselves in a position where they have been charged.”

Is Dave Taylor’s NRL career over?

Is Dave Taylor’s NRL career over? Source: News Corp Australia

Annesley made it clear that the Titans are still largely in the dark when it comes to the details of the investigation and how the five players charged fit within it, and as those details become clearer the club’s decision will become easier.

But if the players are indefinitely stood down or sacked they’ll have to rely on an acquittal in court to ever play in the NRL again.

TITANS FACE FOUR-YEAR DRUG BANS

BIRD, TAYLOR CHARGES ‘JUST TIP OF ICEBERG’

ANNESLEY WANTS TITANS TO REVEAL TRUTH

2. Do the Titans have a future?

Unequivocally, yes. If the NRL ever had an excuse to drop the Titans like a hot pie, this is it.

Commercially, the club’s never been a bigger basket case. Sponsors are thin on the ground, and in Bird one of the faces of the Titans has been caught up in an alleged cocaine ring.

Roll that in with below par on-field results and declining crowds over the past three seasons and you’ve got all the hallmarks of a club sliding into oblivion.

The good thing for the fans is the NRL is having none of it.

Dave Smith has used the opportunity over the past few days to give the NRL’s full backing to the Titans and ruled out relocation.

Dave Smith has been resolute in his support for the Titans.

Dave Smith has been resolute in his support for the Titans. Source: News Corp Australia

“The fans deserve a team on the Gold Coast and they will have a team on the Gold Coast,” Smith told Fox Sports News on Monday.

Titans co-owner Darryl Kelly has also reaffirmed his commitment to the club and while his millions are invested, he’s not going to allow the club to fall over.

3. Does the NRL have a drug problem?

Gary Belcher on Gold Coast Titans scandal

Yes and no. The Courier-Mail’s chief sports writer Robert Craddock used the drug charges levelled at the five Titans players to launch into a fascinating opinion piece on why NRL players and other elite sportspeople choose party drugs over booze.

CRADDOCK: WHY PLAYERS CHOOSE DRUGS OVER BOOZE

In it, he quoted a senior Brisbane football coach who Craddock had spoken to years before: “If you were a player why wouldn’t you take them? Unlike beer, you don’t put on weight and fail a pinch test. They are not that expensive.

“They get out of your system quickly. You don’t get a hangover. You don’t get photographed at a venue with a beer in your hand.

“You don’t get drug-tested very often and when you do you get three strikes before you are in big trouble. Whoever gets three strikes?’’

Five current Gold Coast Titans charged

Five current Gold Coast Titans charged

The three strikes policy the unnamed coach was referring to is only applied in the AFL, but as Craddock also points out, NRL Immortal Andrew Johns has admitted to being a serial ecstasy user for 12 years yet he never failed any of his 17 NRL drug tests.

So, in short, yes, the NRL and other codes in Australia most likely do have a drug problem but as NRL boss Dave Smith has pointed out, it’s also a societal problem.

“I don’t think this is specifically to do with sport, I don’t think this is specifically to do with rugby league, I think it’s a cultural, society-wide thing and frankly it turns my stomach.”

 

4. Is the DCE deal dead in the water?

Daly Cherry-Evans seems less likely to go to the Titans after recent events.

Daly Cherry-Evans seems less likely to go to the Titans after recent events. Source: News Corp Australia

It’s probably too early to call it dead but at best this deal is on life support.

One of the strongest components of the Titans’ pitch to Daly Cherry-Evans was the club’s culture and how the star halfback could contribute to it as a leader.

While the Titans have had a good track record for dealing with players who had lost their way in life or been sacked by other clubs, this scandal clearly erodes a lot if not all of that good work.

Cherry-Evans will now be looking at the Titans as a club with a battered reputation and with some massive question marks over the playing roster, with two of their top five players unlikely to play again, at least in the foreseeable future.

A premiership tilt frankly looks five years away, if you want to be a giddy optimist.

On the flip side, Annesley has an opportunity to convince DCE of the benefits of a wide-scale clean-out and the potential to build a team around the star halfback.

But to get the in-demand playmaker over the line, Annesley is now in a position where he will likely have to add some numbers to an already massive deal.

5. Has anyone enhanced their reputation?

It’s been a trying few days for Graham Annesley but he’s conducted himself with distincti

It’s been a trying few days for Graham Annesley but he’s conducted himself with distinction. Source: CourierMail

It’s pretty easy to point out whose reputation has been battered by this whole messy saga, but it also needs to be pointed out that at least two people who have had theirs enhanced.

The first is Annesley. Already a highly rated administrator, Annesley’s honest, forthright and sometimes emotional approach to this situation must be commended.

While many others would be ducking the media, he’s been at the coalface taking the heat and providing everyone with the proper assurances that the fans and the club would come first and the issues that needed to be dealt with would be done so in a professional manner.

Neil Henry, while not quite as visible, has been a tower of strength for his staff and his players and has enhanced his reputation as a leader of men who is prepared to do whatever it takes to get the best out of a bad situation.

Graham Annesley: Hard for the Titans to recover

Graham Annesley: Hard for the Titans to recover

Karmichael Hunt stood down for Queensland Reds’s next game over allegedly arranging supply of cocaine

Updated Fri at 6:48pm

Karmichael Hunt arrives at his home yesterday after the cocaine claims exploded.
Karmichael Hunt arrives at his home yesterday after the cocaine claims exploded.

Queensland Reds star recruit Karmichael Hunt has been stood down after being identified allegedly arranging the supply of cocaine.

The Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) released a statement on Friday morning saying on Thursday a 28-year-old man from Hendra was served with a Notice to Appear in Court to face four counts of supplying a dangerous drug.

Hunt made his Super Rugby debut against the Brumbies in Canberra last Friday and was named to start at full-back for the Reds against the Western Force at Lang Park on Saturday evening.

But according to a Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) statement: “It has been determined by the QRU, ARU (Australian Rugby Union) and the Rugby Union Players’ Association and after discussion with Karmichael that it would be best for his welfare that he is not available for selection this weekend.”

The statement also said the period in question was between September 1 and October 3 last year and that Hunt had not been arrested or charged.

The CCC will allege Hunt is among three men and one woman who arranged for the supply of cocaine for personal use or to on-supply to friends and colleagues.

A 24-year-old man from Burleigh Waters, a 27-year-old man from Mermaid Waters and a 22-year-old woman from Mermaid Waters were identified along with Hunt contacting the syndicate and allegedly arranging for the supply of cocaine.

NRL club the Gold Coast Titans later on Friday stood down Beau Falloon, 27, and Jamie Dowling, 24, pending court appearances for drug offences, set for the Southport Magistrates Court on March 5.

The CCC said it was unable to comment further due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The CCC’s investigation focused on a cocaine trafficking syndicate operating in south-east Queensland, which resulted in charges being laid against former Queensland rugby league player Jason Smith.

Smith and Toowoomba restaurateur Jason Wood have been accused of trafficking 280 grams of cocaine, also between June and December last year.

Another former NRL player, Matt Seers, also faces 15 counts of supplying a dangerous drug and one count of trafficking a dangerous drug after being arrested in January as part of a joint investigation between Queensland police, New South Wales police and the CCC.

The Reds cancelled a scheduled media conference involving captain James Slipper this morning but released a joint statement with the ARU outlining they are both making inquiries into the reports about Hunt.

Hunt part of Reds’ leadership group

Hunt was named among the Reds leadership group in January, having been appointed vice-captain only months after joining the squad.

“I’ve considered myself a leader from a young age,” Hunt said last month.

“I have been around great leaders since I was a 17-year-old at the Broncos with (Shane) Webcke, (Gorden) Tallis, (Darren) Lockyer.

“I’ve been a part of the Origin and Test sides, I’ve played alongside some great leaders and obviously my own leadership skills have developed over the years.

“So there’s plenty of experiences I’ve been through and I’ve seen that can help the group and help the younger brigade coming through.”

Hunt made his debut in the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos as a 17-year-old in 2004 and represented Queensland at State of Origin level on 10 occasions before announcing a shock switch to the AFL and the Gold Coast Suns in 2009.

With the Suns entering the national competition in 2011, Hunt played a short stint with French Top 14 rugby union club Biarritz, for whom he appeared in the 2009/10 Heineken Cup Final.

The Suns released a statement on Friday morning.

“The Gold Coast Suns have been made aware of charges laid against Karmichael Hunt through the media reports this morning,” the AFL club said.

“As this matter is now before the court, it would be inappropriate to make any comment.”

After three years in the AFL, Hunt returned to rugby union for what was supposed to be a more long-term commitment prior to the 2015 season.

Olympic medallist Geoff Huegill and wife Sara charged over party drugs at Randwick races


A shame the cops didn’t go to the Logies and catch dozens of druggies masquerading as celebrities and B grade actors.
  • Former butterfly world record holder and Olympic medallist
  • Married for three years, had a second child in January
  • Police say the pair had a white powder, believed to be cocaine
  • Officers were alerted by Turf Club officials
Socials - Racing

Geoff Huegill and his wife Sara Hills at Randwick races on Saturday. They have been charged over party drugs in their possession on this day. 

Former Australian swimming star Geoff Huegill and his wife, Sara Hills, locked themselves in a disabled toilet in the corporate area of Randwick Racecourse prior to being charged with drug possession on Saturday.

The couple will appear in court next month after police discovered them with a substance alleged to be cocaine.

Huegill with his wife Sara and Daughter Mila.

Huegill with his wife Sara and daughter Mila. 

It has since been discovered that police attended level four of the grandstand after viewing CCTV footage of Huegill and Hills venturing into a disabled toilet in the vicinity of the Moet Lounge, where they watched the final program of this year’s Autumn Carnival.

The Australian Turf Club’s private security first alerted officers after witnessing their behaviour at the race track.

Police allegedly found the door locked, with Huegill and Hills inside, prior to gaining entry.

NSW Police have confirmed the pair were taken into custody around 5:45pm.

A police spokesman said officers found Huegill and Hill in possession of a “small quantity of white powder, which is believed to cocaine”.

Geoff Huegill in winning form at the Olympic pool in Homebush, Sydney. ‘Skippy’ won silve

Geoff Huegill in winning form at the Olympic pool in Homebush, Sydney. ‘Skippy’ won silver in the 4x100m medley relay and bronze in the 100m butterfly at the Sydney Olympics. 

“Police were patrolling Randwick racecourse as part of their general duties when they were directed to a suite in the grandstand by security personnel,” a police spokesman said.

“Police spoke to a 35-year-old old man and his 30-year-old wife, who were alleged to be in possession of a small quantity of white powder, believed to be cocaine.”

The couple have been charged with one count of Possess Prohibited Drug and are scheduled to appear in Waverley Local Court on 14 May.

Witnesses claimed Huegill and Hill were escorted from the Moet & Chandon lounge by police. A spokesman for Australian Turf Club, which operates Randwick Racecourse, declined to comment. “As this is a police matter,we have no comment,” he said.

Comeback king: Huegill wins the 50m butterfly final during the 2010 Australian championsh

Comeback king: Huegill wins the 50m butterfly final during the 2010 Australian championships in Sydney.

“The ATC has a zero tolerance policy on illicit drugs.”

After winning silver and bronze medals in the pool at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Huegill endured a much publicised weight battle that saw him reach 138kg.

He blamed a poor lifestyle and excessive partying, before making an inspirational comeback that delivered two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Huegill, 35, and Sara, 30, who wed in a Balinese ceremony in 2011, are the parents of two daughters, aged two and three months.

In 2012, after the birth of his first child Mila, Huegill described how fatherhood had changed him.

“Now that she is here, it makes all the other things you do in your life insignificant.”

Geoff Huegill arrest: A-list high-flyers laid low by the seedy side of Sydney’s party set

  • Police say party drug arrests on the rise
  • ‘Cocaine is dangerous, not glamorous’
  • ‘Promoted by criminals, driven by greed’
  • Huegill appears outside home to apologise
  • ‘Everyone’s doing it,’ says PR exec

THE arrest of Geoff Huegill and his wife Sara on alleged cocaine possession was a shock to the sporting world and the public, but to those accustomed to the famously fast party scene the incident may not come as a huge ­surprise.

NSW Drug Squad boss Superintendent Tony Cook said they were arresting more and more people for cocaine possession. He said the image of cocaine as a glamour drug was a dangerous myth which had to be dispelled.

‘EVERYONE HAS THEIR DEMONS’: HUEGILL SAYS SORRY

WHY ARE SWIMMERS SO VULNERABLE?

 

A ‘deeply apologetic’ Geoff Huegill appears outside his home yesterday to say sorry for t

A ‘deeply apologetic’ Geoff Huegill appears outside his home yesterday to say sorry for the ‘commotion’ caused by the arrest of him and his wife Sara at Randwick Racecourse on Saturday. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia

“Over several years NSW Police have seen an increase in the detection of cocaine; this is obviously a concern,’’ he said yesterday.

A “deeply apologetic” Huegill yesterday said he realised his arrest at the Randwick races on Saturday “has caused some commotion’’.

“Some people feel they have been let down and I deeply apologise for that,” he said outside his home.

 

Geoff Huegill makes a statement outside his Darlinghurst home / Picture: Bradley Hunter

Sorry: Huegill. Source: News Corp Australia

Dad of two: Huegill.

Dad of two: Huegill. Source: News Corp Australia

“But I would ask everyone to understand that this matter is before the courts. I won’t be making any more statements until the matter has been resolved.”

Supt Cook said: “What people should remember is that, despite its portrayal as a high-society, glamour drug, cocaine is very dangerous and addictive.

“It is produced and distributed by money-hungry criminals, driven by greed and absolute self-interest.’’

“They will go to every length to ensure a fatter profit margin, cutting their batch with whatever substances they can find in a bid to get a better return on their sale.

“The health and well-being of their customer base is simply not a priority.’’

 

Instagram picture of Geoff Huegill and his wife Sara at the races on Saurday before their

Instagram picture of Geoff Huegill and his wife Sara at the races on Saurday before their arrest. Source: Instagram

Prior to their arrest at a toilet at Royal Randwick, the Huegill’s had been highly visible on the social scene ever since the Olympian made the move from Brisbane to Sydney back in 2008 to make a comeback after a drunken ­incident outside a nightclub in Fortitude Valley in 2007.

Vowing a life change, he moved to Sydney and linked up with sprint coach Grant Stoelwinder to begin his comeback, dropping 50k, writing a book and tapping into a career as a motivat-ional speaker in the process.

Taking up with Hills, a well-known publicist working closely with Sydney’s fashion and celebrity elite, the glamour pair moved into a stunning Surry Hills terrace, started a family and became one of the darlings of the Eastern Suburbs party set. They later moved to Darlinghurst

Not surprisingly, theirs was an orbit that often crossed paths with Sydney’s notoriously heavy party scene, where drugs and ­alcohol are not only often free but plentiful.

“Look, everyone does ­cocaine,” one high-placed public relations executive, who refused to be named, said yesterday.

Geoff Huegill and wife Sara / Picture: Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Glamour couple: Huegill and his wife Sara, who recently had their second child, at a party thrown by Men’s Style in Sydney at The Ivy last September. Picture: Marianna Massey/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

“And maybe it’s that mentality, that it’s so common, is what can lead to some complacency, because it is so commonplace.”

One celebrity manager ­explained the ground rules for drug use in the social set.

“Everyone knows you don’t go into a toilet with more than one person,” he said.

“The other thing you do is flush anything you have down the toilet (if the police knock on the door.”

LOSS OF DISCIPLINE IMPACTS ATHLETES Ben Pike

FORMER Olympian and track legend Raelene Boyle said the lack of discipline and the “rigidness of competition” is one of the problems faced by swimmers once their careers are over.

“They get tied up in this … bullshit I like to call it,” Boyle said.

“They get lost in partying and this so-called celebrity life but they really don’t know how to manage it and it happened to Scott (Miller) and Grant Hackett and Ian Thorpe and now Geoff.

“And I honestly believe these guys are decent people but they’re just lost.

“And I think his wife is in the same position now … it’s very sad because they have two beautiful babies.

 

Huegill, pictured winning the Mens 50 Butterfly Final at the 2010 Telstra Australian Swim

Huegill, pictured winning the Mens 50 Butterfly Final at the 2010 Telstra Australian Swimming Championships, retired more than two years ago, but is the latest in a sorry list of former swimmers to find themselves in trouble. Source: News Limited

Swimming Australia did not want to buy into the latest controversy surrounding yet ­another recently retired star of the pool allegedly coming ­unstuck.

“He retired from competitive swimming following the 2012 Australian swimming championships in April, over two years ago,’’ the organisation said.

“As this is a personal matter for Geoff, it would be inappropriate for Swimming Australia to comment any further at this stage.’’

AustSwim CEO Gordon Mallett, who heads the swim safety organisation, has spoken to the Commonwealth Games champion via email and said “everyone has their little demons”.

“He is very upset and ­remorseful,” Mr Mallett said.

“He is very, very sad this has happened and if you knew ­personally … he is a ­decent man.”

“We have suspended him while the process takes place. It’s to allow natural justice to take place.”

 

Geoff Huegill to face cocaine charge 0:28

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/Q2MW5sbTpNtP7opv7jROEl7W_K8MdU52/promo222931526&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

Former Olympic swimmer Geoff Huegill and wife Sara have been charged with drug possession.

Sydney socialite Lisa Stockbridge jailed for allegedly dealing drugs


Lisa Stockbridge was arrested on December 11.
Lisa Stockbridge was arrested on December 11.

Oh my, poor Sydney socialite Lisa Stockbridge.

I just love a high flying celebrity or socialite getting a slap back down to earth. This story reminds me of the high flying drug dealer that just happened to be a nephew of the high and almighty Ita Buttrose.

What pisses me off though is all those involved in her so called high society bullshit fake life happen to be SO SURPRISED

Half of you idiots are probably packing shit as you very well know you probably purchased some goodies off her. I hope the cops were fully tuned in on each and every one of you.

Dare you order a pizza for the knock at the door that could be the day!

Get Connected, well hopefully to a good lawyer now you have been caught
Get Connected, well hopefully to a good lawyer now you have been caught

Her website suddenly disappeared on the day of her arrest but the following quote, beside a email link called “Get Connected” says a lot as far as I am concerned.

Urban Society is like your well-heeled trendsetting pal,

who always knows where to eat, where to shop, the latest openings and what strings to pull to be first through the door. From pop up shops to parties, urban eateries, or decadent getaways, we’re devoted to hunting down offers on the best events in your city – so you don’t have to.

A POPULAR Sydney socialite allegedly led a double life supplying cocaine and ecstasy to clients in the city’s most ­exclusive suburbs.

When she wasn’t running her popular entertainment website Urban ­Society, police allege Lisa Lisa (Danielle) Stockbridge was dealing drugs – including a commercial quantity of ecstasy – in Sydney’s east.

Stockbridge, a 41-year-old from Kings Cross, had been under police surveillance for at least a month and was arrested at 9.20pm on December 11, court documents said.

A far cry from the glitzy red carpets, hot parties and fine dining she would be used to, the mother of a 20-year-old daughter is now languishing in the maximum security section of Silver-water Jail awaiting her next court date.

Police recovered $33,620 in cash during the arrest which they allege was the proceeds of crime.

On November 14, police allege she supplied cocaine at locations in Rose Bay and Woollahra between 4.40pm and 5pm and later that evening at Double Bay around 7pm.

Stockbridge has also be accused of selling cocaine in Darlinghurst between 7.15pm on November 14 and 7.25pm on December 11.

Court documents show on the same dates, she also supplied cocaine in Sydney and Clovelly.

She also allegedly supplied 270g of ecstasy between December 11 and 12 at Darlinghurst.

On top of the charge of supplying a commercial quantity of drugs, Stockbridge is facing a further seven charges of supplying or knowingly taking part in the supply of a prohibited drug and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Urban Society staff members have not yet been formally notified of Stockbridge’s arrest, however they were advised they no longer had jobs just prior to Christmas.

The website’s editor, Camilla Gulli, wrote on Facebook on December 16 to notify her friends via social media that she was “resigning”.

“It is with a heavy heart that I resign as editor of Urban Society, after two-and-a-half long years,” she posted.

“Want to say that I love my team, who are some of the most resilient and talented people I know.

“Goodbye free dinners, I’ll miss you most of all.

“Hit me up for freelance work.” were they getting more than free dinners, or paying for the free dinners in other ways? Time will tell

A Sydney woman who worked as a contractor for Stockbridge and didn’t want to be identified, said she was in “complete shock” by the news.

“I had no idea until now,” she said.

“I honestly can’t believe it and would never in a million years have picked it.”

A media identity who was notified of the incident last week said: “It sounds like a script from a movie – I would never have believed it.”

A Sydney nightclub owner who has worked with Stockbridge in the past said: “Lisa is the last person I would have thought would (allegedly) do something like this.”

Another senior public relations figure said: “I am in complete shock, this is absolutely incredible and something I would never have seen coming – she is a mum for god’s sake.”

Stockbridge’s website was shutdown in December and her personal social media sites, which include Twitter and Instagram, have been inactive since the day she was arrested.

Ricky Nixon-Sex, lies and Video Tape


Ricky Nixon is still living in fantasy land, refusing to be a man and admit his failings, dodging questions, walking away, deflecting blame. Has he forgotten how old he is compared to how old she is. The master negotiator of million dollar contracts, mixing it up in the big tough business work and this teen “Tricked him” into everything did she? Well if that is the case Tricky Dicky Nixon, you are more the fool and she is a genius.

More likely is you were thinking with your dick and have tried ever since to get out of taking any responsibility you loser…

Vodpod videos no longer available. Vodpod videos no longer available.

UPDATE 02/05/11

UPDATE 10.40am: DISGRACED AFL player agent Ricky Nixon has inferred he was unwittingly drugged before being filmed in Kim Duthie’s hotel room wearing only his underpants.

In an allegation aired on radio MTR’s Steve Price Breakfast Show, Nixon this morning said he had no idea how he ended up in the teenager’s room near nude.

And the suspended player agent, who declared he would no longer speak about the scandal, confirmed he came close to taking his life while standing on a bridge in London.

Nixon told MTR he didn’t want to spark another police investigation or “witchhunt” but suggested drugs were the reason why he couldn’t explain being in Duthie’s hotel room wearing only underpants. correct, the drugs he snorted

“The answer is still I don’t know,” Nixon told MTR.

But what people don’t know is I was found a few hours after that outside my office at Etihad Stadium some three kilometres from the hotel room in not a great way. drugs do catch up with you “Tricky”

“Let’s just say that there is a good reason why I don’t know what happened.”

He has denied having sex with or taking drugs with the teenager.

Asked by Price whether he thought he unknowingly had a drink spiked or drugs introduced into his system in some other way Nixon said: “All I’ll say is that I’ve always thought you’re a smart bloke, that you’re very good at analysing things and nine times out of 10 you are right in what you say Steve.”

RICKY Nixon has failed to explain why he was in schoolgirl Kim Duthie’s hotel room wearing only a pair of underpants.

The disgraced sports agent instead accused Duthie of “setting him up” and “conning the world” they had sexual relations and that he gave her drugs.

Nixon said Duthie was a member of “Gen-Y who is very tech savvy and who is very good at making up conversations and texts”.

“We are talking about a habitual liar, a habitual liar who strips down to her G-string on Lonsdale street,” he said.

An angry and emotional Nixon struggled to answer many questions put to him tonight by Channel Seven‘s Ross Coulthard. Several times Nixon walked out of the interview or reminded the journalist of legal ramifications.

Asked bluntly of the central allegations, Nixon said – “Let me be very clear, I had no sexual relationship with that girl, I never have at all.”

But Nixon failed to explain why he was in his underpants in a hotel room with Duthie.

“No I can’t (explain it),” he said.

“And no one can provide any evidence to me of sex or drugs. You’ve all been conned.”

Nixon admitted texting Duthie at one stage to tell her he would look at pictures of her in his phone “when I am on top of you” but said the comment was being taken out of context.

He also denied telling her he would share a line of cocaine with her and after one heated exchange with Coulthard said – “I was not using cocaine with this girl.”

Nixon also spoke for the first time about allegations he threatened to kill the girl and her family and of taking his own life while in London because of the pressure.

Denying he threatened to kill Duthie over the allegations and the video footage, Nixon said he told her he may as well driver his car into the Yarra.

Nixon described Duthie as a “habitual liar” when confronted with the claim he had sent Duthie a text saying – “Why did you film? You will have a nice life because it will be a short one. I’m not going to kill you, just your mother, father and little sister. Then you will know what its like to have your life ruined.”

The accusation prompted Nixon to confess you had wanted to kill himself.

“I was in London in total shock in the lowest ebb of my life, wondering what the hell had happened,” he said.

“Have you ever stood on a bridge across the Thames and nearly tried to jump off it? Have you ever done that? Have you ever thought your life was over, Ross?

“Have you ever thought you’re sick and tired of a 17-year-old girl playing with your life, and your family’s life, and your kids life, and your grandmothers life? Would you enjoy that?”

Nixon was banned last month from practising for two months by the AFL Player Association after an investigation he described as “media driven and unlawful.”

“The only person they didn’t speak to was myself,” he said.

“I was under a medical condition in recovery. I wasn’t allowed to speak to the board or given adequate time to do it. It was a witch-hunt, it was media driven and I’m not sure they lawfully had the right to investigate me anyway.”

The fiery television exchange left more questions than answers.

“People forget that the two people standing at the top of the pyramids are her and I. Underneath it are parents, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, clients, business staff they’re all affected by this. They’re all affected by it and they’re very tired of it.”

Nixon going into rehab-Stands down as manager


As I reported here yesterday afternoon, Ricky Nixon has finally admitted to a drug problem and is going into rehab, standing down from all duties whilst an investigation takes place into his actions…

One day you're going to get with your pants down...

DISGRACED AFL player manager Ricky Nixon is taking an indefinite break to deal with a substance abuse problem in a rehabilitation clinic.

Nixon, who is embroiled in a sex and drugs scandal involving a 17-year-old girl, issued a statement tonight saying:

“After 20 years involvement in player management, I am now taking an indefinite break to deal with a number of personal health issues. It is important for both my own health and wellbeing and that of my family to do so immediately.

“I have returned to Australia having spent the last two weeks overseas, where I had the opportunity to seek help for my personal issues. With the understanding and support of family and close friends, I have decided that I will go to a rehabilitation clinic to seek treatment for a substance problem that has impacted on my life and my decision-making, particularly over the last eight weeks.

“Given recent events and with the encouragement of friends, I believe it is the right time for me to seek help, counselling and appropriate treatment.

“While overseas, I have been in contact with the AFLPA and have stated that I will cooperate fully with the investigation currently being undertaken by David Galbally QC. I stand by my original statement in relation to this matter.

“I am so lucky to have the support of my employees and the players that I manage and while I know this time has not been easy for them I think it is important for both staff and players at Flying Start that I immediately relinquish all responsibilities and activities a player manager would normally undertake.

“I have full faith in the staff at Flying Start to operate as usual without my involvement.

“As someone who has been involved in the football industry for more than 30 years I understand the interest in this story but I do ask for the privacy needed to be able to undertake clinical treatment without the intrusion of the media. I also ask that the media leaves my family, friends, staff and players alone. I know these events have caused them enough distress.

“I would like to thank people for the enormous amount of support I have had both here and overseas. This is a significant challenge and one that I am committed to get through and coming out a better person. I would like to sincerely apologise to everyone for the impact caused by these recent events.”