Kelso man gives false name before police find drugs

A Kelso man who gave police a fake name out of fear of receiving a $1000 fine for defying travel restrictions has been found guilty of drug possession.

Jake Matthew Hughes, 26, of Boyd Street, Kelso failed to appear in front of Cowra Local Court and was charged with possessing a prohibited drug.

According to the police facts, at 9.40am on April 10, 2020, police were patrolling the Mid Western Highway near Holmwood.

When a Toyota Camry passed, police accelerated and stopped the vehicle for the purpose of a random breath test.

Police approached the driver, who produced a P1 licence.

The driver had a number of passengers, a female in the front and Hughes in the back of the vehicle, which contravened the conditions of the driver's licence.

At the time of the incident, travel restrictions were in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and police asked the group if they were aware of the laws.

All three said they were aware of the rules and had travelled from Bathurst to Cowra to pick up Hughes, who would be assisting the female passenger with a medical appointment.

Police then made inquiries about the group's identities.

Matches were made for the driver and female passenger, however there was no match on Hughes, who told police his name was "Joshua Johnson".

Further police were summoned to the area after the occupants of the vehicle became agitated.

"Johnson" then approached the driver's window of the police vehicle and asked when they could leave.

Police informed "Johnson" they could not leave as his identity was unconfirmed.

"Johnson" again spoke to police a short time later, saying he had been warned about being away from his residence and was concerned about receiving a $1000 fine.

As a result, he gave a fake name, revealing his real name was Jake Hughes.

Police then searched the vehicle and passengers.

The search of the occupants failed to show any contraband, however a small, resealable "deal" bag containing a quantity of a crystal-like substance was found on the floor near the front passengers' seat.

Hughes admitted the bag belong to him and it was "Ice".

Police continued their search and found another bag with a larger amount of the substance. Hughes again admitted belonged to him.

The group were warned about travel restrictions and permitted to leave.

The bags were weighed at Cowra Police Station, with the smaller one coming in at 0.2 of a gram and the larger one at 0.4 of a gram.

Hughes received a $100 fine in absence.