Caught on tape: Drug lord reacts to raid
ICE kingpin Ivan Tesic spent last night behind bars after a Supreme Court jury yesterday returned a majority guilty verdict on a charge of possession of meth oil capable of producing ice with a street value of $11 million.
The flashy drug baron and silent nightclub owner, 45, who claimed he was just a "muscle car" fanatic, was brought down by an unlikely "supergrass" - a young Gold Coast apprentice tradie turned drug mule, who was living at home with mum and dad when he claimed he was shifting drugs for Tesic.
Tesic was also the subject of a massive covert operation by Queensland and NSW police, as well as federal law enforcement.
It culminated in police raids in March and April 2014 and the arrest of more than 150 people, including Tesic at Sydney's domestic airport on April 4, 2014.
He was then extradited to Queensland.
He claimed to be at the airport to meet a friend but was carrying $43,000 in cash.
During the months leading up to his arrest Tesic's phones were tapped.
Three bugs were planted inside his Isle of Capri home, where he spent part of the year, in his garage, and hidden cameras were set up across the road.
The bugs caught one conversation between Tesic and then-fiancee Natalie Charalambous after 11pm on March 20, 2014. It was played to the Supreme Court jury.
Tesic: What the f---'s goin' on?
Natalie: Um, we got raided.
N: Yeah so no one has phones, they've confiscated heaps of s---, I'm lucky that I still have this phone as I didn't have it in my handbag. Everything's been taken.
T: What was the raid over, what's goin' on?
N: So all the cars have been taken, everyone's. They've gone to (drug mule's) now to raid it. Now (drug mule's) car's been taken, his ute, everything. The Porsches, the Skyline, My laptop, f---ing gone through every little crap, every f---ing dog thing, they have been here since like 3 o'clock this afternoon and they only just left now. I got home and they said to me up in the middle of the street "Get out of the car, police, rah rah rah" full carrying on.
T: Did you (say) there was coppers in the street?
N: No, I didn't say there was coppers in the street, they all came out, when I just pulled into the driveway they came running out of the vehicle going mental. They've gone to (drug mule's) house now. They have taken everyone's phones. Everything is gone.
T: I've just heard they went to everyone's, Mattie's.
N: Beachy's cars been taken because he rocked up.
T: How come they took all the cars? Did they say, or?
N: They've taken them all, they had the warrant that says that they can take possession of anything that. It was CID, CID was here.
N: They were chucking dogs all over the couches everywhere.
T: So what they take?
N: Oh, steroids.
N: And money.
T: How much? What five or 10 grand?
N: Yeah, money in a bumbag too.
T: Hmm, it is what it is, eh.
N: F---en wouldn't even let me go to the toilet, followed me to the toilet. Like, are you joking? In the toilet with me while I p---ed.
N: The female copper.
T: Nock (Tesic's brother Novak) has gone to go to the petrol station to try to get a phone or (unintelligible).
Tesic dod not to take the stand in his defence during his trial or call any evidence, relying on his silk Saul Holt QC to blast holes in the prosecution case.
Tesic never disputed that he knew the mule but claimed the mule was selling drugs out of his Isle of Capri home when Tesic was in Sydney.
It was the mule's damning evidence of how he smuggled meth oil hidden in "stash spots" in his modified Holden Commodore ute that led to yesterday's Supreme Court jury verdict just after 3pm, following eight hours of deliberation.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the second more serious charge, of ice trafficking, which attracts a 25-year sentence, because they could not agree that Tesic had continuously carried on a business of selling meth oil.
Twice a jury has been unable to decide whether he is guilty or innocent of trafficking the drug, after a hung jury in June 2017.
Tesic has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on Monday.
His lawyer told the court he planned to appeal the conviction for possession.