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March 6, 2021

Court told Casino woman a ‘bit player’ in ice manufacture

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A Casino woman charged in relation to the alleged manufacture and supply of a large commercial quantity of the drug ice has been granted conditional bail.

Michelle Renee Linney appeared in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday and was represented by solicitor Ms Binney.

The 34 year-old mother of two faced charges of participating in a criminal group, two counts of manufacturing or producing a prohibited drug and supplying a prohibited drug.

It is alleged on court documents Ms Linney was a ‘bit player’ and ‘a user’ of methamphetamine, which was manufactured in a clandestine laboratory at Tenterfield, raided by Richmond LAC police as part of Strike Force Thermal, on December 30.

Between November 22, and December 29, 2016, police allege Ms Linney ‘did knowingly participate in a criminal group, contributing to the criminal act of conspiring to commit the manufacture of a prohibited drug (large commercial quantity),’ court documents stated.

On December 1 and 2, 2016, at Casino, it is also alleged Ms Linney ‘did knowingly take part in the manufacture of a prohibited drug, to wit, methamphetamine.’

Three days after the alleged manufacture of the drugs, it is alleged Ms Linney supplied an amount of methamphetamine at Casino.

Then, just two days later, December 7, Ms Linney was charged with ‘taking part in the manufacture of a prohibited drug, to wit, methamphetamine 500 grams, which was not less than the commercial quantity applicable to that prohibited drug.’

As part of the raids by strike Force Thermal, Ms Linney was arrested on January 5 and taken to Casino police station where she was charged and refused bail.

When she appeared in Lismore Local Court on January 9, magistrate David Heilpern again refused bail, despite the court hearing she had two sons aged 2 and-a-half and 13, who she would be separated from for a long time if not granted bail.

On Tuesday, Mr Heilpern granted Ms Linney strict conditional bail after the court heard the manufacture charge of 500 grams of methamphetamine was based on the weight of the precursor used to make the drug, with 500 grams of precursor making 330 grams of methamphetamine.

The court heard her youngest child was in care, she had a limited criminal history, and could live at Ballina.

Mr Heilpern ordered Ms Linney to report to Ballina police daily, not to contact any co-accused, not to take drugs or alcohol unless they were prescribed by a doctor and to submit to drug and alcohol testing at police discretion.

He adjourned her matters for mention until July 4, at Lismore Local Court.

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