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The Advertiser
Published on 14th August 2002

Fantasy haul lands brothers in court

TWO sons of a prominent eastern suburbs family appeared in court yesterday charged over one of Australia's biggest hauls of the designer drug, "Fantasy".

Adam and Mark Lawrence appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in connection with 100 litres of the illegal drug. The largest previous haul of the drug in South Australia was 1.3 litres.

It is alleged the brothers – sons of businessman Bob Lawrence of Unley Park – and another man, Mario Trevor McDonagh, took part in the sale of the drug between August 2 and September 12. They allegedly received $60,000 between them for their roles in the sale. Prosecutor Geraldine Davidson told Magistrate Richard Brown the men were arrested as part of a major police operation.
Deputy Commissioner John White said after the operation: "We believe this is the largest seizure of Fantasy ever in Australia."

Mark Lawrence, 27, of Richmond, was granted bail yesterday when his lawyer, Michael Barnett, told the court his role in the offending was minor compared to that of his brother, Adam, and Mr McDonagh. However, Ms Davidson appealed Mr Brown's decision to the Supreme Court and the bail application will be reheard next week.Mr Brown ordered home detention bail reports for Adam Lawrence, 31, of Belair, and Mr McDonagh, 30. .

They have been charged with three counts of taking part in the sale of a prohibited substance. Mark Lawrence has been charged with two of the same counts. Ms Davidson said the allegations against the three men were serious and if convicted they could be fined a maximum of $500,000 or be imprisoned for life. The court was told Mr Mark Lawrence received a phone call in August relating to the sale of the drug. Mr Adam Lawrence and Mr McDonagh then allegedly organised for the sale of the drug in a Mile End car park.

Ms Davidson said the drug was sold twice in 25 litre lots in August and then on Thursday 50 litres was sold. She said the source of the drug has not been found and if the men were released on bail there was a chance they could hamper investigations. Tim Dibden, for Adam Lawrence, said the $60,000 the men received for the drug was a small amount in terms of drug trafficking.

The three men have been ordered to answer the charges in November. Deputy Commissioner White said the seizure prevented about 20,000 doses of Fantasy hitting the streets.

"That will make a very significant impact on the availability of this drug," he said.

© Advertiser Newspapers Ltd



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