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PAKENHAM OFFICER

pakenhamnews.starcommunity.com.au

Thursday, 26 October, 2017

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■ Star footballer’s shock fall from grace into crime and bikie gang

Drugs shame

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A former AFL footballer accused of being a member of an outlaw motorbike gang has been bailed on drug trafficking and weapons charges. Justin Lee Berry, 36, of Dandenong North, was described by police as being addicted to meth and supporting the Hells Angels motorcycle gang during a Dandenong Magistrates’ Court bail hearing on 23 October. The former St Kilda and Carlton footballer has been known as a footballing superstar in Melbourne’s South-East - with stints at Cranbourne, Devon Meadows, and Garfield as well as Frankston’s VFL side. Berry had spent the previous 23 days in custody. He was represented by Victoria Legal Aid after being dumped by his barrister earlier that day. Berry’s home, secured with high-definition CCTV, was raided by Armed Crime Squad police on 29 September as part of Operation Gloom, the court heard. The operation is a police crackdown on firearms in South-East Melbourne. Police allegedly seized 30 exhibits including a 3D-printed handgun in a garage safe and a rifle wrapped in a blanket in the master bedroom, along with a variety of ammunition. The printed gun’s firing capability was still to be tested, police informant First Constable Jason Budge told the court. Inside Berry’s car police allegedly found 14 grams of methamphetamine, several ec-

stasy tablets, 1,4 butanediol, drug transaction notes, digital scales and knuckledusters. Police also seized a stolen motorbike, several Tasers, several knuckledusters, a laser pointer, and a sheathed sword inside the home and garage. A wooden pole with a grip and exposed nails found in the garage was described by magistrate Jack Vandersteen as a “viciously manufactured weapon” that could blind or kill a person. Const Budge said the unemployed Berry was now dealing in drugs as his main income for supporting himself, his partner and children. “He has told investigators that he is a supporter of the Hells Angels motorcycle group.” In a police interview, Berry made “full admissions” to trafficking drugs for three years as well as possessing the prohibited weapons, firearms and proceeds of crime, First Const Budge said. Police were unable at the time to state a frequency, quantity or commercial value of Berry’s admitted trafficking. Defence lawyer Adrian Dessi questioned if Berry had admitted to simply selling meth “intermittently” to a group of friends over a course of time rather than running a business. Berry’s links to the Hells Angels were untested, Mr Dessi said. Mr Dessi described Berry as being born and raised in Lyndhurst and Cranbourne, who had been in “significantly good physical health”. Continued page 7

Justin Berry gets fired up in the third quarter of the 2013 Casey Cardinia Football League grand final, playing for Cranbourne. 106294

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News - Pakenham Officer Star News - 26th October 2017