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Floods flush out meth labs in Tivoli and North Ipswich

AFTER the 2011 floods Shane William Knaggs was forced to move his home and hobby from his flooded home in Tivoli to a friend's place in North Ipswich.

It wouldn't be an uncommon story, if his hobby wasn't cooking meth.

Knaggs, 42, pleaded guilty at the Ipswich District Court to a number of drug offences including producing dangerous drugs and publishing instructions for producing dangerous drugs, as well as possessing a knife in public, possessing tainted property and breaching bail.

On 19 December 2012 police executed search warrants on a house in Tivoli and another in North Ipswich.

At the North Ipswich house they located Knaggs and another man, Wayne Anthony Barker. Knaggs was the owner of the Tivoli home, while Barker owned the North Ipswich home.

At both houses they found equipment for a meth lab and material to make the illicit drug. Police found 1.877g of methylamphetamine in the house, belonging to Knaggs and a significant amount of cannabis belonging to Barker.

Barker pleaded guilty on Thursday to possessing more than 500g of cannabis and allowing his house to be used in the production of drugs.

The court heard Knaggs' Tivoli home was unliveable following the 2011 floods and he moved in with Barker at the North Ipswich address.

He brought with him much of his meth lab, leaving some of it at Tivoli.

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From the empty packets of pseudoephedrine tablets found a both houses police established Knaggs could have produced up to 10g of the drug.

The court heard while Knaggs was running the lab he was on bail for a number of drug offences including possessing drugs without proper prescriptions, a knife and a stolen debit card.

Police also found a laptop in his possession with nine lengthy documents detailing the production of drugs.

Defence lawyer Steve Kissick said Knaggs had been in prison awaiting sentence for 140 days.

He said Knaggs had not been cooking meth at both houses, but had simply not moved all of his equipment into the North Ipswich residence.

Mr Kissick said Knaggs' drug use had increased when he lost his job, and had moved out of the area to get away from the drug circle he was involved in.

Judge Sarah Bradley said meth was a dangerous drug with severe social consequences.

"Anyone who spends any time in the courts will know that it's a serious drug which there is a large amount of crime associated with," she said.

"It's all too easy to set up systems, and as it's called laboratories to make methylamphetamine."

She sentenced Knaggs to 15 months prison, but released immediately on parole with the time he has already served taken into consideration.

Topics:  ipswich district court, methylamphetamines, producing a dangerous drug



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