NINE police witnesses will be called for a contested hearing in November when a Wendouree man faces a raft of drug trafficking and proceeds of crime charges.
Damien Coveney, 32, is expected to plead guilty to some of the 17 charges against him, while he will contest others, including the alleged proceeds of crime offences.
Coveney appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, where his lawyer and the magistrate took more than one hour to determine how the contested hearing would proceed.
The 17 charges include drug trafficking, drug possession, being a prohibited person possessing an unregistered firearm, failing to store explosives and six counts relating to being in possession of property suspected of being the proceeds of crime.
The court heard Coveney was arrested on April 18 after police executed a search warrant at his Wendouree home.
Reading a summary to the court, police prosecutor Senior Constable Clint Prebble said police seized a mobile phone, allegedly containing text messages detailing Coveney’s drug trafficking activity in the Ballarat area.
Police also seized a list allegedly containing names and amounts of money owed, scales, zip lock deal bags and property believed to have been exchanged for drugs.
The property included iPads, iPhones, laptops, mobile phones, and electric power tools. Also seized were illegal fireworks, prescription medication and gold jewellery.
Inside Coveney’s home, police allegedly found a sawn-off rifle and ammunition hidden among children’s play toys.
Senior Constable Prebble said Coveney told police he had the firearm to protect his family from people he did not know showing up at his home in search of drugs.
Coveney also told police he was selling the drug ice to support his own habit, which consisted of up to one gram a day.
Coveney’s defence lawyer, David Tamanika, said his client would contest some of the charges because of issues with the police record of interview.
Mr Tamanika added that most of the property seized was in fact his client’s.
Coveney was bailed to re-appear on November 12 for a further contested mention hearing.