Canberra man caught with 70 Lego sets, suspected to be stolen, part of organised retail crime syndicate: police
A Canberra man caught with suspected stolen goods including 70 Lego sets and 300 bottles of alcohol has been refused bail in the ACT Magistrates Court.
Key Points: Kris Taps Fridemanis faces charges including drug trafficking and possession of suspected stolen goods. A police raid on Mr Fridemanis’ home allegedly found stolen property along with suspected synthetic heroin and $35,000 in cash Police say they believe Mr Fridemanis is part of an organized retail crime syndicate, where people trade stolen items for drugs
Kris Taps Fridemanis (36) faces five charges, including possession of property believed to be stolen, receiving stolen property and drug trafficking.
Sergeant David Power told the court that police believed Mr Fridemanis was part of an organized retail crime syndicate, where people would bring items they had stolen and be paid in drugs.
The court heard other items seized in a raid from Mr Fridemanis’ home included $35,000 in cash and suspected synthetic heroin.
Sergeant Power said Mr Fridemanis was originally identified through phone taps on another person who was arrested at the same time.
He told the court that the police believe that Mr Fridemanis was referred to as ‘Mick’ in the telephone conversations.
He said officers then identified him after hearing a plan for what they believe was a drug deal.
Sergeant Power said surveillance revealed that Mr Fridemanis’ car had left the scene.
The police then raided a property in early January when the two people were arrested.
The court heard items found included a piece of paper with a prescription for the drug GBL.
“It required forethought and planning” Mr Fridemanis was refused bail because of his risk of reoffending as the alleged criminal enterprise appeared well established. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)
Mr Fridemanis’ lawyer Travis Jackson asked for bail this morning, telling the ACT Magistrates Court it could take up to a year for the police investigation, due to delays in testing some of the drugs.
Mr Jackson also said Mr Fridemanis had strong ties to Canberra, where his partner and children live, along with his father, who has cancer.
But the prosecutor told the court there were concerns about re-offending and urged Magistrate Beth Campbell to take into account that the business appeared to be a well-established one.
“It required thought and planning,” she said.
Sergeant Power also told the court the case against Mr Fridemanis was strong.
“I don’t understand how they afforded anything in life except by selling drugs,” he said.
Magistrate Beth Campbell admitted the case was likely to face a long delay.
She said she was concerned by the allegations which suggested Mr Fridemanis was once known as a “fence”, someone who knowingly buys stolen goods to later sell them for profit.
She also expressed concern about Mr Fridemanis’s attitude when she read a comment, transcribed in court documents, from one of the telephone conversations in which he told his co-accused:
“You know you have to shut up.
“You have to be sneaky.
“You have to keep things close to your chest.
“It’s the only way to get things done.”
Bail was refused and the case will be back in court in March.