Accused Rainbow Serpent drug dealers Martin Mahoney and Pedro Gomide front Ballarat Magistrates Court

Event: Lexton's Rainbow Serpent dance festival.
Event: Lexton's Rainbow Serpent dance festival.

Forensic police have so far found no evidence to link items found in a car-load of drugs to two men charged with drug trafficking. 

Martin Joseph Mahoney, 35, and his passenger Pedro Gomide, 36, were stopped at a Warrenheip service station in January, en route to the four-day Rainbow Serpent dance festival at Lexton.

Police allege Mahoney’s car was full of drugs including cocaine, cannabis and MDMA, cash and drug paraphernalia.

The "glamping" business operator and Gomide, who was visiting Australia, were arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

The Ballarat Magistrates Court was told on Thursday forensic police had tested electronic devices found in Mahoney’s vehicle, including mobile phone and laptop downloads, and did not find any evidence.  

Further testing has been completed on envelops and bags containing cocaine, with no fingerprints found, the court was told.

But Crown prosecutor Raelene Maxwell said the drug testing had not yet been completed. She said Gomide’s matter could not be resolved until the drug analysis results were known.

The prosecution stated in an email read to the court the drug testing reflected the charges against Mahoney and Gomide.

David Tamanika, for Gomide, claimed the prosecution were going nowhere fast with their case.

He said Gomide decided to proceed to the committal mention stage to force the prosecution to provide evidence and prove Gomide had committed an offence. 

“It appears the prosecution are going nowhere fast. We don’t have any real information (since) when they were arrested in January,” Mr Tamanika said.

He said Gomide was placed on a criminal justice visa after his arrest and still did not know its conditions, other than he cannot work or receive financial benefits.

“It seems quite prejudicial against my client,” Mr Tamanika said.

Jacob Kantor, for Mahoney, also vented his frustrations over the prosecution case, saying there would be delays in allowing him to apply for permission to cross-examine witnesses.

After some discussion, leave was granted for Mr Kantor to cross-examine three witnesses, including a drug analysis, police informant and supervising sergeant.

The court was told Mahoney elected to have his charges heard in a higher jurisdiction, while Gomide may apply for summary jurisdiction to have his heard in the Magistrates Court.

A one-day committal hearing for Mahoney and Gomide will be held in September.

Mahoney and Gomide face nine charges each, including three counts of trafficking a drug of dependence.