A Cockatoo man has faced the County Court and plead guilty to a number of offences, after he was caught driving unlicensed, possessing and trafficking a “commercial quantity” of methylamphetamine (ice) – over 200 grams – and committing an indictable offence while on bail.
Mitchell Evans, a 34-year-old with previous convictions for driving and drug offences, was caught out by an unmarked police vehicle earlier this year for driving a motorbike without a registration plate – an offence which led the police to a much bigger discovery.
At about 11.40pm on Tuesday 16 March, police were patrolling the Ferntree Gully area when they spotted Evans riding the motorbike along the Burwood Highway.
The unmarked police car did a U-turn and followed Evans for about 200 metres, observing him as he slowed to pass a separate, marked police vehicle and turn into another street before pulling up at a carwash.
It was then that the unmarked police showed themselves and approached Evans, asking him to remove his helmet (to which he obliged).
When asked about his motorbike’s missing registration plate, Evans told the police that it “must have fallen off” and when asked to provide his name, he claimed to be one “Mitchell James” and said that the bike was registered in his girlfriend’s name.
After completing their routine checks, police came to the conclusion that Evans had provided them with a false name and he was then arrested and searched at the scene.
During that search, police discovered an ice pipe, a snap lock bag containing methylamphetamine weighing 38.8 grams and his wallet, which contained multiple cards which portrayed his real name, Mitchell Evans.
After identifying Evans, police discovered that he had been disqualified as a driver back in February 2021 and was subsequently taken to the Knox Police Station, where he was further arrested for the drugs found and for driving unlicensed.
In the early hours of Wednesday 17 March, with Evans still in custody, police executed a search warrant at Evans’ Cockatoo home, during which they discovered over 175 grams of methylamphetamine (most of which was hidden in secret compartments), a cash counting machine, a vacuum seal machine, a number of incriminating messages on his computer and over $36,000 in cash.
Police later confirmed that overall, 214.3 grams of methylamphetamine (0.86 times
commercial quantity) with a pure weight of 178 grams (3.56 times commercial quantity) was seized from Evans through both the searches of himself and his home.
Evans has been in custody since his arrest on 16 March 2021 and as at the date of his determination hearing on 24 August 2021, he will have spent 161 days in custody.
However, at the time of his offending, Evans was undergoing a community corrections order for an unrelated matter.
He was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment on Monday 2 August for these unrelated charges and the breaching of a community corrections order, which will be taken from his days already served in custody, meaning that he will have 147 days applicable to this matter by way of pre-sentence detention.
The maximum penalty for trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence is 25 years imprisonment, while Evans’ other offences carry penalties of jail time too.
Evans will be sentenced by the County Court at a later date.