The parents of an accused drug trafficker will have to stump up $150000 to secure their son’s freedom.
Michael Sean Rossignuolo, 42, faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court last week, after spending a week behind bars following police raids at two Tatura properties.
Police allegedly uncovered illegal firearms, ammunition and saleable quantities of methamphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine.
Mr Rossignuolo was allegedly selling drugs at his home, and keeping the details in a secret ledger.
Shepparton police Senior Constable Jacob Sinclair said the alleged drug sales to clients around the Tatura area were usually worth at least $1000 a deal. The accused has not entered a plea yet, and after his brief appearance before the court after his arrest last week he decided to apply for bail.
Defence lawyer Rohan Lawrence said his client had made some mistakes, but he would not return to his alleged offending if released.
He pointed to his involvement in his family’s farming endeavours as lucrative, indicating that his client would not be pushed to sell drugs by financial pressure.
The accused’s father, Anthony Frank Rossignuolo, was emotional when he took the stand, and said that he stood behind his son, despite his shock at his arrest.
‘‘When the police came to the farm I was left speechless,’’ Mr Rossignuolo Sr said.
‘‘I thought, ‘Is this really happening to my son?’ It was like a dream.’’
Mr Rossignuolo Sr said his son grew lucrative crops at the family’s Tatura properties, which were sold at markets across regional Victoria.
Although there were times when his son would have to wait to get paid, Mr Rossignuolo Sr said at times his son could be getting $10000 a week from farming.
Police Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Kim Talbot asked Mr Rossignuolo Sr if he was really unaware of his son’s alleged side business as a drug trafficker.
‘‘If we were aware we would have done something about it,’’ he said.
The informant on the case, Senior Constable Jacob Sinclair, told the court that if released, he feared the accused would continue his alleged drug operation.
Magistrate Jelena Popovic granted bail to the accused, but under strict conditions including daily reporting to police, surrendering his passport and with the sizable $150000 surety to be paid by his parents before his release.
The accused broke down several times in the dock during the appearance, and he was warned by the magistrate of the responsibility placed on him by the bail.
‘‘You broke your parents’ hearts. Do your kids know about this?’’ the magistrate asked.
With tears in his eyes, the accused said he had told his children about the charges in the past few days.
If his parents post the $150000 surety, Mr Rossignuolo will walk free until his next court appearance on July 17.