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Australian government lawyer Nick Gouliaditis charged with drug dealing, possessing firearm

Date

Nick Ralston

Police lead the 34-year-old lawyer from his Martin Place office.

Police lead the 34-year-old lawyer from his Martin Place office. Photo: Supplied

A senior Sydney lawyer employed by the Australian government and a former financial worker have been charged over their alleged involvement in a sophisticated drug syndicate. 

On Thursday morning following a two-month police investigation, Nick Gouliaditis was arrested at his Sydney office in Martin Place, where he is employed as a senior executive lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor - the agency that provides legal advice to the government. 

The 34-year-old was charged with suppling the drugs methylamphetamine (ice) and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) as well as dealing in the proceeds of crime, resisting arrest and possessing a prohibited firearm.

In a bail application before Central Local Court on Friday, it was alleged that Mr Gouiliaditis and his co-accused, Andrew Connell, 25, were part of a "sophisticated syndicate" that supplied drugs to mid-level drug dealers.

Police allege undercover officers bought 500 millilitres of GHB, also known as fantasy, and 13.8 grams of ice from Mr Gouliaditis on a number of occasions between late July and mid-August this year.

Investigators say the solicitor was in possession of three grams of ice, an ice pipe, scales, numerous resealable plastic bags and a large amount of cash when they arrested him.

They also searched his home in Newtown, in Sydney's inner west, where they allege they found a stun gun and 700 millilitres of a liquid thought to be GHB.

Mr Gouliaditis' barrister, Jeff Tunks, told the court the allegations against his client were "street-level stuff", not a sophisticated drug network, rather a "garden variety" criminal operation.

Mr Connell's barrister argued that his client, who was arrested at a Kings Cross apartment on Thursday, was not the intended target of the police operation and had no criminal history. The out-of-work insolvency adviser was however before a different court on counterfeit money charges.

Police opposed bail for both men, saying they were part of an organised crime network and could have the capacity to forge documents that would help them flee the jurisdiction. The prosecutor also raised concerns about the possibility the men could interfer with evidence or tip off their co-accused, with further arrests likely. 

While acknowledging the strength of the prosecution case, and the likelihood both men would serve custodial sentences if convicted, the magistrate granted both men strict conditional bail.

Mr Gouliaditis, who has been suspended from work pending the outcome of his trial, was ordered to surrender $20,000 in surety, stay at his father's home in Cronulla, report daily to police, adhere to a curfew between 8am and 8pm and surrender his passport. He is also banned from visiting the Kings Cross area.

The families of both men supported them in court.

The matter returns to court later this year.

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