A drug haul with an estimated street value of $1 million was seized by police at the weekend in one of the biggest drug busts in the Great Southern region in recent history.
Albany detectives, acting on intelligence that a consignment of methylamphetamine and cannabis might be headed from Perth to Albany, stopped a car on Albany Highway near the city’s airport about 10pm on Sunday.
Police allegedly uncovered more than 160g of high-grade methylamphetamine, 100 ecstasy pills and 70g of cannabis in the car.
They arrested 30-year-old Mark Anthony Stolban and 25-year-old Tahnee Rochelle Hill, and charged the Albany couple with drug possession with intent to sell and supply.
Mr Stolban and Ms Hill appeared in Albany Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning, but were not required to enter a plea and were not given the opportunity to apply for bail.
They were remanded in custody to reappear in court today.
Albany Detective Sergeant Mark McKenzie said police were overwhelmed to find such a large quantity of illicit drugs in the car.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had that kind of seizure down here,” he said. “Six ounces is just mind-boggling, when we’re talking about that sort of amount hitting the streets, it’s horrific.”
Police believe the high-purity methylamphetamine seized could yield a street value of more than $1 million if sold by the gram and more than $330,000 if sold by the ounce, which is the equivalent to 28g.
The cannabis seized was also considered to be high quality.
Legal Aid lawyer Graeme Payne, who represented the co-accused on Monday, raised concerns about police treatment of Mr Stolban at the time of arrest, saying his client was roughly handled and sustained grazing to his face and leg, as well as swelling and bruising to his wrists.
Mr Payne also alleged police refused his client the opportunity to make a phone call after his arrest.Magistrate Tanya Watt directed police to provide first-aid treatment for Mr Stolban and allow him a phone call.