Yass drug lab suspect asks police to pay his legal fees

Four men were arrested in connection to $9 million worth of cocaine and a large-scale drug lab at a Yass property in June. Photo: Supplied by NSW Police

Four men were arrested in connection to $9 million worth of cocaine and a large-scale drug lab at a Yass property in June. Photo: Supplied by NSW Police

One of four men arrested in connection to $9 million worth of cocaine and a large-scale drug lab at a Yass property in June asked police to cover his legal costs because the case was taking too long.

Esteban Ricardo Forero Gomez, 25, a Spanish national, re-appeared in Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday, October 16 for the fourth time since his arrest.

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He appeared via audio visual link from Long Bay Correctional Complex with a Spanish interpreter.

His co-accused, Jordan David Stephens, 19, David Quang Dung Pham, 35, and John Capistran Le, 40, also re-appeared in Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday.

Their matters have been adjourned each month since their arrests in June to allow police more time to provide evidence to the court.

The court was waiting on a forensic chemist report in August and is now waiting on transcripts from a listening device police used.

A Melbourne-based solicitor acting on behalf of the Spanish national, Gomez, had arranged for Goulburn-based solicitor Rodney Boyd to represent him on Wednesday.

Mr Boyd applied for the costs to be covered on behalf of Gomez, but the Director of Public Prosecutions said it was out of the police's hands.

Magistrate Geraldine Beattie refused the application for costs and adjourned the matter again to November 13, to allow police more time to lodge the evidence.

The four men are each charged with the supply and manufacture of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and yet to enter a plea.

A police statement released in June stated officers found 30 kilograms of cocaine, several chemicals used to make drugs, Australian and European cash, and mobile telephones in the Yass River Road drug lab raid. The raid was part of Strike Force Judy, an investigation into the manufacture and supply of cocaine and ice.

No applications were made for bail and it was formally refused for all four.