Olympic kayaker arrested on drugs charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Olympic kayaker arrested on drugs charge

21/11/2007 11:26:35 PM Comments (0)

Former world champion and Olympic kayaker Nathan Baggaley has been charged with several drug offences after his arrest on the NSW far north coast.

Baggaley and his brother were taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon as part of an ongoing police investigation into the manufacture and supply of MDMA in the Byron Bay-Tweed Heads area, media reported.

But police have refused to confirm Baggaley and his brother were the two men arrested in the operation, a 31-year-old at a Byron Bay apartment block and a 25-year-old at an oyster lease at Brunswick Heads.

The 31-year-old Byron Bay man has been charged with manufacturing a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, two counts of supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, possessing a tablet press, and supplying a prohibited drug.

The 25-year-old Suffolk Park man has been charged with seven counts of supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, dealing with property suspected of being the proceeds of crime, possessing a tablet press, manufacturing a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, the ongoing supply of a prohibited drug, supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, and possessing a prohibited drug (deem supply).

Both have been refused bail to appear at Lismore Local Court on Thursday.

Police said the arrests followed raids on 10 residential and factory premises in the area.

A pill press, and quantities of cash, have been seized, they said.

The arrests are part of police efforts to dismantle a large criminal syndicate in which the two men are allegedly involved.

During the four month covert operation, 28,500 MDMA tablets have allegedly been seized, with a street value of $1.4 million.

Police said more than one kg of MDMA powder was also seized, which could potentially be made into tens of thousands of tablets worth about $1.1 million.

Police have also charged a third man and are questioning a fourth.

A 25-year-old man from Newrybar in NSW will appear at Byron Bay Local Court on December 7 charged with possessing prohibited drugs, possessing equipment for administering prohibited drugs and having goods in custody.

A 23-year-old man from Suffolk Park was arrested at his home and is being interviewed at Byron Bay Police Station.

The charges are the latest controversy to engulf Baggaley, who already faces drugs charges in Queensland, and has just seen out a two-year suspension for steroid use.

On his website earlier this month, Baggaley wrote in a blog entry that he had experienced his "fair share of ordeals" in the past two years.

"It was a difficult two years which left me with a lot of time on my hands and unfortunately led me to making some bad decisions and probably to (sic) much partying also," he wrote.

"I could go on with a lot more stories but I will finish up by stating that although there is a lot of speculation and rumour (sic) circulating about my troubles with the law, I am confident that they will be resolved in the very near future and that it will turn out favourably (sic) for me and more importantly, that I will be back racing at an elite level very soon."

Australian Canoeing last month rejected an application from Baggaley to be reinstated to the sport, despite the Olympic silver medallist completing a two-year ban for taking steroids in September.

In July, the three-time world champion was committed to stand trial in Brisbane Supreme Court on drug charges after police allegedly found 762 ecstasy tablets in a car he was driving on the Gold Coast in February.

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