More than 50 Lost Paradise Music Festival revellers charged with drug possession have fronted Gosford Local and Criminal Courts since the beginning of February.
Throughout proceedings, the court heard the extraordinary means by which festival goers allegedly went to conceal their illicit drugs.
Documents tendered in court revealed that police, through the assistance of police sniffer dogs, found drugs hidden in all manner of ways, including being mixed in with luggage, concealed within containers, and in some cases, hidden in the accused’s underwear.
The same documents also revealed some of the more sophisticated lengths some revellers resorted to.
In what police allege was an effort to conceal the scent of their drugs, some festival goers hid their substances in foodstuffs and other products with a strong scent, with one festival goer hiding her drugs inside a jar of hand cream and another submerging hers in a jar of Nutella.
Cosmetics proved a popular vehicle for smuggling, with police locating multiple packets of drugs concealed inside roll-on deodorants, sunscreen bottles and other personal use items.
Four women also fronted the court for allegedly being caught with internally concealed drugs.
Known amongst young people as ‘shelfing’ the practice involves the concealment of drugs inside a body safe product such as a condom, which is then hidden in the vagina.
Police allege that between the four women caught ‘shelfing’, 20 capsules of MDMA and more than 16 grams of other drugs were located, after the accused were all taken to the designated searching area and removed concealments from their vaginas. The four were not known to each other.
Offenders who topped the possession bill included 18-year-old, Samuel Balzarolo, of Northmead, who was found with 15 MDMA capsules, 6.9g of Cannabis and 3g of Ketamine concealed in his car, and, Matthew Smith-Wildey, also 18 and of Chipping Norton, who caught police attention after a sniffer dog sought him out.
Court documents allege that when asked if he had any drugs on his person, Smith-Wildey told police that he had “smoked a couple of joints” before arriving at the festival.
Upon further inquiries he produced a resealable bag from his underwear containing 6.53g of Cannabis, 3.93g of psilocybin (commonly known as ‘magic mushrooms’) and nine MDMA capsules.
Smith-Widley had his matter adjourned to Liverpool Local Court and awaits sentencing.
Luckily for Balzarolo, police could not find any evidence that he planned to sell any of the drugs he carried, so he was charged with three counts of possession.
Blazarolo was convicted and put on a conditional release for six months.
He was also issued an $800 fine.
Glendale’s, Phillip Walker, was one of the few actually charged for possession with intent to supply, after being caught with 11.44g of MDMA.
Residing Magistrate, Elizabeth Ellis, said the community expected a “strong message” from the courts given the current climate surrounding drug charges and music festivals in NSW.
Magistrate Ellis also warned those accused who adjourned their cases to their local courts, not to bank on a lighter sentence, particularly those adjourned to the Downing Centre, which was currently dealing with its own swathe of drug related cases from Sydney’s FOMO Festival.
Source: Court notes, Feb 5, Transcripts, Feb 5, Documents, Feb 5, R v Matthew Smith-Widley 2018/00400090, R v Samuel Balzarolo 2019/00001133