FAKE: The replica machine gun found during a search of a Yamba property last year.
FAKE: The replica machine gun found during a search of a Yamba property last year. Bill North

Unregistered firearm, drugs found in Yamba raid

A YAMBA man has escaped a jail sentence after he was found guilty of supplying a prohibited drug and possessing an unregistered replica machine gun.

Christopher Keith Jones, 55, had entered guilty pleas to charges of cultivating a prohibited plant, possessing equipment to administer a prohibited drug, supply a prohibited drug and obstruct or hinder police executing a warrant, but pleaded not guilty to possessing an unregistered firearm.

On November 23 last year, police attended a house in Treelands Drive, Yamba, to execute a search warrant following an investigation into the alleged supply of drugs.

Evidence was presented to Maclean Local Court, that during the search police found 10 marijuana plants, 82 grams of marijuana around the house, as well as a quantity of cash.

In his interview with police, Jones claimed the plants found on the property were for his own use and he had them for a couple of months.

Jones denied any knowledge of the discovered firearm, which police believed was a .303 military-style machine gun.

When questioned by police, Jones denied selling marijuana and said some people came over to his house and he smoked with them and gave them marijuana, but did not sell it. Jones also denied knowledge of Facebook messages police alleged were related to the sale of marijuana.

During the questioning, police revealed the property had been under surveillance for some time, and a number of people had been observed going in and out of the property.

In court on Wednesday, evidence was presented from a NSW Police Forensics Ballistics and Investigation Section scientific officer that the firearm was an imitation and "was not designed to propel a projectile". While the firearm was an imitation, it imitated a prohibited firearm and was taken as a prohibited firearm.

Magistrate Karen Stafford found Jones guilty of possessing an unregistered firearm and sentenced him to a good behaviour bond for two years. For supplying a prohibited drug, Jones was also sentenced to a good behaviour bond and fined a total of $2300.