A group of North Coast residents are facing serious cocaine charges for the alleged supply of the drug in the Byron Bay region. Picture: iStock
A group of North Coast residents are facing serious cocaine charges for the alleged supply of the drug in the Byron Bay region. Picture: iStock

Details on phone intercepts sought in cocaine supply case

DETAILS on telephone intercepts have been sought by the lawyer representing a Suffolk Park woman facing serious drug offences.

Joanne McKinlay, 55, is among a group facing similar charges relating to the alleged supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay region.

Ms McKinlay is expected to defend the charges against her in a hearing separate from her co-accused.

She is facing three counts of taking part in the supply of cocaine, two counts of supplying a prohibited drug, recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime and possessing or using a prohibited weapon without a permit.

Ms McKinlay was excused from attending Byron Bay Local Court when her case was mentioned on Monday.

Her lawyer, Tracey Randall, said the matter would be listed for a hearing before the Local Court, rather than proceeding to the District Court.

Ms Randall said her client's co-accused were all expected to go before the District Court.

They include Ms McKinlay's husband, Scott Edward Biber, 57, Broken Head man Michael Robert Birch, 67, and Lennox Head man Philip David Emanuele, 50.

The cases against the men, who are facing 15, 11 and 10 charges respectively, went before Tweed Heads Local Court last week and will return to court on November 18.

While scheduling a hearing date, Ms Randall asked the court to make an order relating to telephone intercept information.

"There's been an issue with telephone intercepts in this matter," Ms Randall said.

"There was a promise we'd be provided with the product numbers of the telephone intercepts.

"There's a wealth of TIs."

She said the defence had been given "some transcripts" from intercepts but required more details to cross-reference these against actual recordings.

Magistrate Karen Stafford ordered those details to be made available by November 9.

The balance of the brief of evidence is due to be filed by April 6, 2021 and the matter was scheduled for a hearing before Byron Bay Local Court on April 20.



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