Hold the phone: prosecutors need to more time as evidence delays drug case

POLICE RAID: After months of keeping their suspects under surveillance Orange police raided properties on Shiralee and Pinnacle roads in early February, arresting two men on scores of firearms and drug charges.
Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0205cops10

POLICE RAID: After months of keeping their suspects under surveillance Orange police raided properties on Shiralee and Pinnacle roads in early February, arresting two men on scores of firearms and drug charges. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0205cops10

HUNDREDS of telephone calls still need to be analysed by police in the case against Mario Antonio LaSpina and Richard Thomas Fulmer who between them are facing 75 drug supply and firearms charges in Orange Local Court.

On Thursday solicitor Michael Fahy representing the Director of Public Prosecutions told Orange Local Court the prosecution needs another six weeks to get through the analysis of all the calls police monitored in an undercover operation which ran over several months.

“We need to ask for a lengthy adjournment as there are so many calls and we have to get the transcript of each,” Mr Fahy said.

“Well the file is already three inches thick,” said solicitor representing Laspina, Tim Dalla.

Scores of police swooped on the two men on  properties on Shiralee and Pinnacle roads on February 5 this year.

Police have laid the majority of charges against Laspina, 51, who is facing 59 charges of knowingly taking part in the supply of prohibited drugs and selling firearms to people unauthorised to own them.

He is also charged with having goods in his custody suspected of being stolen, and one count of unlawfully selling firearms three times or more within a 12 month period.

Laspina has had bail refused and is in Bathurst jail.

His co-accused Fulmer, who was initially refused bai  has been granted bail as the sole carer for his sick wife.

Fulmer is facing charges of selling firearms to persons unauthorised to own them, possessing unauthorised firearms, actively taking part in the supply of a prohibited drug, knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime and supplying an indictable amount of cannabis.

In previous court appearances solicitors for both accused asked for a suppression order on the names of the men, however magistrate Terry Lucas declined the request.

The case against both men has now been adjourned to Orange Local Court for early July and both are yet to enter a plea.

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