18 February 2023

Two Queensland men in custody on drug charges after police pursuit near Tumblong

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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seized drugs

Two men faced Young Local Court after Riverina Highway Patrol allegedly seized $15 million worth of drugs. Photo: NSW Police.

Two Queensland men will remain in custody on drugs counts after appearing in Young Local Court on Friday (17 February) charged over the alleged seizure of $15 million worth of methylamphetamine.

David Russell, 30, did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

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.

Luther Blake, 27, also did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

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

Both matters have been listed for further mention at Cootamundra Local Court on 1 May.

READ ALSO Police seize $15 million worth of methylamphetamine near Tumblong

Officers from Riverina Highway Patrol detected a Kia Carnival passenger van allegedly travelling 144 km/h in a 110 km/h zone on the Hume Highway at Tumblong about 10:15 am on 16 February.

Police 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 away from the scene and a pursuit began.

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

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

Police searched the vehicle and allegedly seized 60kg of methylamphetamine, a rifle magazine and ammunition, which will be forensically examined.

Inquiries are continuing.

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