AN alleged drug dealer accused of supplying methamphetamine worth more than $20,000 in the Warrnambool area has been refused bail.
Jordan Hooper, 22, formerly of Warrnambool and Jan Juc, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday on charges of drug trafficking.
Police allege that between May and June this year Mr Hooper, a former law student, made daily trips to Melbourne to purchase crystal methamphetamine, known as ice, worth between $20,000 and $25,000.
The court heard on June 7 Mr Hooper and two others were arrested by highway patrol officers in Camperdown after they were seen travelling in a vehicle identified as belonging to convicted drug dealer Scotney Duncomb.
A search of the vehicle found up to 21 grams of ice concealed behind the label of a large soft drink bottle.
Police also recovered a mobile phone alleged to belong to Mr Hooper, which contained details of deals allegedly set up between Mr Hooper and others dated June 7 and before.
The phone also contained images of a ledger containing names and debts and an image of a bag filled with an ice-like substance on a set of digital scales.
The arrest came only weeks after Mr Hooper was issued with a community corrections order (CCO) in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court in May, when he pleading guilty to trafficking methamphetamine and possessing the proceeds of crime.
Police opposed the bail application on the grounds that Mr Hooper could interfere with witnesses relating to names found in the ledger.
Giving evidence to the court, the Warrnambool policeman who arrested the accused on June 7 said he believed the accused was a significant drug dealer in the region.
He said Mr Hooper had been paying someone $500 to drive him to Melbourne where he bought 2 to 2.5 ounces of ice each day.
The officer estimated the value of the quantities at $20,000 to $25,000 and said it was sold in Warrnambool within five to seven hours.
He told the court Mr Hooper was a competent and prolific dealer who had bragged about it on social media.
After objecting to Mr Hooper's release, the officer described him as a significant drug dealer in the Warrnambool area.
Defence counsel for Mr Hooper, Simon Northeast, said his client intended to fight the charges and should be released into his mother’s care while awaiting trial.
He said his client had been offered work, had accommodation and was booked into drug and alcohol services the following day if released.
“He’s been in custody for 61 days, he’s got family support and secure housing. At this stage he instructs me that he will contest the charges over the drugs found in the car.”
He said Mr Hooper had never formally purchased the car from Mr Duncomb’s partner.
Magistrate Ron Saines denied bail on the grounds releasing Mr Hooper could jeopardise a police investigations.
“It appears the CCO issued on May 19 was an insufficient deterrent. I’m satisfied bail should be refused,” Mr Saines said.
He warned the accused he faced “a substantial time of imprisonment” if found guilty of drug trafficking charges.
Mr Hooper was remanded in custody to reappear in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on September 8.