An air conditioning apprentice appears to have been so busy masterminding a massive drug supply syndicate he would barely have had time to eat and sleep, a magistrate has said.
Police claim Benjamin Hedges, 31, is the "kingpin" behind a major Queanbeyan and Snowy Mountains criminal network that was supplying ice and other drugs in areas including the NSW snowfields before being busted on Thursday.
He and 10 others were arrested and charged with a total of more than 60 offences when police executed seven search warrants across Queanbeyan and Cooma.
Officers allegedly seized drugs, cash, weapons and electronic devices.
Mr Hedges headlined a list of seven people allegedly linked to the syndicate applying for bail on Friday - with mixed results.
Queanbeyan Local Court heard police had placed him under surveillance and intercepted about 12,000 phone calls and text messages in "a relatively short period".
"How he even had the time to eat and sleep, let alone carry out any work as an apprentice, is beyond me," Magistrate Roger Clisdell said.
"This is an extensive ring of people."
Mr Hedges faces 22 charges ranging from drug supply to dealing with the proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Bernard Goonan said it was "almost inevitable" that the 31-year-old would be convicted and sentenced to time in jail, such was the strength of the case against him.
Sergeant Goonan argued bail should therefore be refused.
But a duty lawyer asked that Mr Hedges, who "traverses between" Queanbeyan and Batemans Bay, be freed to live and work in the latter to provide for his daughter.
Mr Clisdell ultimately found there was a likelihood that Mr Hedges would be sentenced to a jail term, and also said the man had "the wherewithal to flee" if he so desired. He accordingly refused bail.
The magistrate also turned down a release application by Cooma region farmhand Jason Priedigkeit, 34, who was described by Sergeant Goonan as "an active member of the distribution team" and someone with a poor record of compliance with bail.
Mr Clisdell said there was evidence that Mr Priedigkeit had been swindled by another alleged member of the syndicate and given a substance adulterated by sugar instead of "the real McCoy ice".
He indicated that Mr Priedigkeit had allegedly told Mr Hedges he was going to "pursue" the other person for the drugs.
"I can only assume he wasn't going to ask nicely," Mr Clisdell said.
"There's not much honour among these drug dealers."
Another who failed to secure conditional freedom was pregnant heroin addict Jessica Muir, who sobbed as the court heard she would have been in a rapid detox program in Cooma had she not been arrested.
Sergeant Goonan said releasing the 35-year-old in a drug-addicted state would pose more of a risk to her unborn child than remanding her in custody, where she could be medically monitored.
Mr Clisdell agreed and refused bail while pointing out that the case against Ms Muir, who faces five charges over her alleged role in the drug supply syndicate, was "reasonably strong".
Four others who appeared before Mr Clisdell had better luck as they were granted bail.
Unemployed Cooma woman Teneillie Roche, 25, was described by Sergeant Goonan as "the commander of the southern wing" of the syndicate.
The court heard she was likely to be jailed if convicted, but her lawyer, Luke Vozella, convinced Mr Clisdell that the mother-of-one presented a compelling case for bail as she wiped away tears.
Mr Vozella pointed out that Ms Roche had no criminal history and said if the charges she faced were proven, she would be "a street level-type dealer" at worst.
Queanbeyan woman Erin Sellick, characterised as "a mid-level player" in the alleged drug distribution ring, also received bail despite Mr Clisdell remarking that she appeared destined for a custodial sentence if convicted on her charges.
The remaining two defendants who were bailed on Friday were said to have limited links to the alleged drug ring.
Tui Tuck was accused of being "a bit player" at the lower end of the enterprise, while Robert Marshall was wanted on unrelated matters and just happened to be at one of the houses that was raided.
None of the seven entered pleas, and they are due to return to court on various dates between now and November 10.
Another woman is yet to appear in Queanbeyan Local Court after being granted police bail, while three men in the same boat will appear in Cooma Local Court on September 9.
Police say this case represents a major blow to drug supply in the regions, and have indicated they expect to make further arrests.