2 May 2023

Queensland men face court on drug charges after police pursuit on Hume Highway

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drug seizure

Riverina Highway Patrol seized $15 million worth of methylamphetamine (60kg). Photo: NSW Police.

Queensland men David Russell and Luther Blake have had their bail refused after Riverina Highway Patrol seized $15 million worth of methylamphetamine following a police pursuit near Tumblong.

Russell, 30, and Blake, 27, fronted Cootamundra Local Court on 1 May charged with multiple offences between them.

Russell has been charged with two counts of police pursuit, not stop, drive at speed, driving a motor vehicle while licence suspended, supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, possessing prohibited drugs and escaping police custody.

Blake has been charged with supplying a large commercial quantity of drugs and drug possession.

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Russell and Blake had their bail formally refused by Magistrate Don McLennan, who set their next court appearance for 5 June.

Earlier this year, officers from Riverina Highway Patrol detected a Kia Carnival passenger van allegedly travelling at 144 km/h in a 110 km/h zone on the Hume Highway at Tumblong on 16 February.

Police said the Highway Patrol officers stopped the vehicle to speak with the driver (Russell), who underwent a roadside drug test.

When he returned a positive result, police say they attempted to arrest him, but the driver sped from the scene and a pursuit began.

Police said the vehicle came to a stop after tyre spikes were deployed near Attwood Road in Burra Creek, and Russell and Blake ran from the vehicle into a nearby paddock.

Following a short foot pursuit, the men were arrested and taken to Cootamundra Police Station.

Riverina Highway Patrol officers searched the vehicle and seized 60kg of methylamphetamine, a rifle magazine and ammunition, which will be forensically examined.

Inquiries are continuing.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit Crime Stoppers. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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