John Charles White, a 67 Queensland pilot had a secret. When he left Adelaide in South Australia and flew into Deniliquin airport in NSW, he had no idea what was waiting for him. He was arrested on the tarmac with a planeload of drugs - 45 kg of cannabis and 4 kg of a precursor for "ice."
For the past eight years, White has been a member of the Gold Coast Sports Flying Club and Vice President Malcolm Aldred said he was stunned when police raided his hangar. "He's a really nice bloke who would help anyone" he said.
White would go to Jacobs Wells airstrip once a week, fly his plane and then go home. No one had a clue what he was up to but now everyone knows he was part of a bikie drug trafficking ring operating out of three states.
In the country town of Hay, an hour and a half's drive from Deniliquin, police raided three properties and arrested four men. Steve Harris 38, Morgan Cox 29, John Mirabelli 43 and Frank Ruberto 46 were charged with gun supply offences and refused bail.
White's plane, a Sting, is modern and lightweight and without a passenger, carrying commercial drugs wasn't a problem.
Members of the Descendants and Hells Angels motorcycle gangs were also charged and although White is not a bikie himself, it's alleged he is a business associate who entered into a commercial arrangement with the gang. He appeared in Deniliquin court yesterday and did not apply for bail.
Meanwhile, a yacht which travelled from Latin America, via Vanuatu to the Gold Coast, was found to be carrying 100 kg of cocaine with a street value of $100 million.
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.
- Mahatma Gandhi