An Australian Border Force officer intercepted a parcel bound for Launceston that contained a commercial quantity of MDMA, a jury has heard.
Toby John Della Valle and Shea Alex Gibbling are jointly charged with importing a commercial quantity of a controlled drug from September 20 to October 6, 2017.
Both men have pleaded not guilty and are standing trial in the Launceston Supreme Court before Justice Brian Martin.
Individually they have been charged with trafficking a marketable quantity of a controlled drug, which they also pleaded not guilty to.
Commonwealth Prosecutor Garth Stevens told the jury border force employee Simon Bedford was doing routine mail X-rays at Australia Post in Sydney when he discovered an usual substance in a parcel addressed to a Shea Hasting at Upper York Street in Launceston.
The parcel was allegedly sent from Spain to Australia and was labelled as containing jewellery, but it had an inflatable pool chair and Lego inside.
When Mr Bedford gave evidence on Monday he told the court he inspected the box after seeing some anomalies on the X-ray.
Mr Bedford found two packets of a brown substance inside the inflatable pool chair, so he tested one as per policy and it returned a positive reading for MDMA.
The package was sent to the Australian Federal Police where the MDMA was replaced with an identical coloured salt and a controlled delivery was planned, the jury was told.
It was alleged seven calls inquiring about the registered parcel were made to Australia Post by a man who identified himself as Shea or Shea Hasting.
Tasmania Police Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Smith was working on secondment with the Australian Federal Police during the investigation. When giving evidence on Monday, he told the court he was responsible for the controlled delivery, so he dressed as an Australia Post employee and used a van with the company’s labelling when dropping off the parcel.
Detective Senior Sergeant Smith said he called the mobile number that was used to call Australia Post multiple times about the parcel to tell the person delivery would happen that day – October 5, 2017.
The man who answered the phone asked if the parcel could be redirected from Upper York Street to a house on the West Tamar Highway at Riverside, Detective Senior Sergeant Smith said.
Shortly after Mr Bibbling, 35, allegedly signed for the package, a warrant was executed and the house was searched.
The court heard the two accused were at the West Tamar Highway house with a third man, but Mr Della Valle, 29, identified himself to police as Dean Emerson.
Detective Senior Sergeant Smith told the court $23,650 in cash was found in a safe in Mr Della Valle’s bedroom and MDMA was found in the insulation batts in the wall.
Mr Della Valle’s lawyer Evan Hughes told the jury his client denied any responsibility in importing the parcel and urged them to judge the case from the perspective of the Commonwealth needing to establish guilt.
The jury was told two MacBook Airs were seized from Mr Gibbling’s bedroom as well as a PVC pipe with a brown substance in it.
Mr Gibbling’s lawyer Fran McCracken told the jury to assess all the evidence very carefully and to consider whether her client seemed like a drug trafficker or an innocent bystander.
The trial will continue on Tuesday.