The fast life of busted Gold Coast nightclub king

Jamie Lawrence Pickering, 49, faced Southport Magistrates Court on Monday charged with multiple offences, including four counts of supplying a dangerous drug.

Police allege the owner of the Sin City and Vanity nightclubs provided drugs to girls on at least two occasions at a Surfers Paradise unit.

Pickering was one of 152 people arrested as part of a drug ring over the weekend after several raids and property searches.

During Monday’s bail application, Pickering’s lawyer Alastair McDougall told the court his client had no criminal history and the case against him was weak.

“The crown will have to prove the girls were of a certain age and also show my client knew or could have reasonably known what age they were,” Mr McDougall said.

Pickering is also accused of allowing drug deals to occur inside his nightclubs.

He was granted bail and the matter was adjourned until May 30.

Police say the drug ring, which has links to several outlaw bikie gangs, had been sourcing drugs in Sydney before driving them up to the Gold Coast.

Alleged ringleader Ivan Tesic was set to face an extradition hearing in Sydney on Monday afternoon as police try to bring him back to Queensland.

Tesic, who part-owns Club Liv in Surfers Paradise, was arrested on Friday and is accused of having links to several of the gangs allegedly involved in the drug ring.

If he is extradited he’s expected to face court in Southport on Wednesday.

Bandidos member Ricky Chapman also made a brief appearance at Southport on Monday.

Chapman, who is also facing supply charges, was remanded in custody before a bail application on April 15.

Another Bandidos member, Josh Downey, remains in custody in Mackay after his arrest on the weekend.

Downey’s lawyer Campbell MacCallum told AAP he was seeking his client’s transfer to Southport to make a bail application later in the week.

The weekend police action was the conclusion to a 19-month investigation by 100 officers.

Two Surfers Paradise nightclubs and several homes on the Gold Coast, Sydney and Airlie Beach were raided or searched.

Police seized 18kg of cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine and six litres of methamphetamine oil which could have been used to make $11 million in drugs.

The whole operation stopped $26 million in drugs being sold, police said.

Police will seek to retain four luxury homes and cars, including a Porsche, as well as a half a million dollars worth of cash and a watch, also worth half a million.


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