Brother of Aussie Olympic medallist accused of $200million cocaine smuggling operation suffers huge blow after prison officers allegedly make shocking find in his cell

The brother of Olympic silver medalist Nathan Baggaley will remain behind bars as he awaits trial for a failed $200 million drug smuggling plot after successfully winning an appeal to overturn his convictions.

Dru Baggaley, 42, and his older brother Nathan Baggaley were both sentenced to more than 20 years in prison each after being found guilty in 2021 of attempting to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.

Olympic kayaker Nathan Baggaley (left) and his brother Dru (right) were both allegedly involved in the failed drug smuggling plot

Both men have since successfully appealed their convictions, with the Queensland Court of Appeal setting aside the original sentence for Nathan and ordering a retrial on Friday.

Dru was also granted a new trial in December, scheduled for November.

However, on Monday he lost his third attempt at bail in the Brisbane Supreme Court when Judge Melanie Hindman rejected his latest application.

Judge Hindman said she found Dru posed an ‘unacceptable risk’ if he failed to appear in court if released on bail after six years in custody.

She said if a jury found him guilty a second time, he would receive a further 10 years’ non-parole prison sentence if convicted.

Federal police arrested Dru Baggaley and Anthony Draper at sea (photo)

Federal police arrested Dru Baggaley and Anthony Draper at sea (photo)

The court was told that despite a $50,000 bond posted on his behalf, Dru posed a potential flight risk despite not having a passport.

Dru and another man, Anthony Draper, are alleged to have picked up plastic packets of cocaine – estimated at around 600kg – on an inflatable boat from a foreign cargo ship 360km off the coast of Queensland.

It is further alleged that packets of cocaine were dumped into the ocean as Dru and Mr Draper tried to evade authorities during a sea chase.

Judge Hindman said both Dru and Mr Draper accused each other of being the organizer of the botched drug smuggling scheme, with Dru claiming he believed the parcels they collected contained tobacco.

Nathan Baggaley (photo) was originally sentenced to more than twenty years in prison

Nathan Baggaley (photo) was originally sentenced to more than twenty years in prison

The court was told that possession of a phone used during the drug smuggling operation would play a crucial role in evidence ahead of Dru’s upcoming trial.

“It appears that whoever had the phone knew the substance was cocaine,” Judge Hindman said.

“The applicant’s case is, inter alia, that Draper was the instigator of the plot and that he was told that the imported substance was tobacco.

“There is evidence that Draper communicated with the applicant following the offense and effectively admitted that he misled the applicant into thinking the substance was tobacco.

The applicant will demonstrate at the hearing, among other things, that he thought the packages contained tobacco, that he did not know it was cocaine, that the telephone in question did not belong to him and that he is not the main instigator of the import conspiracy.

“The path to conviction of the applicant is not an easy one in light of the evidence currently available.

“The jury should be satisfied that Draper’s ‘confessions’ could not possibly be true, the phone was the property of the applicant and/or the app (applicant) knew or was reckless in knowing that the drug was cocaine.”

The court was told Dru also faced new charges after a smuggled mobile phone was discovered in his prison cell in January this year.

Judge Hindman said Dru has since been charged after it was claimed prison staff searched his cell and found the device in the drains after Dru allegedly flushed it down the toilet.

The court was told Dru intended to fight these charges.

Police reportedly found approximately $200 million worth of cocaine during the arrest (photo).

Police reportedly found approximately $200 million worth of cocaine during the arrest (photo).

Despite Dru remaining drug-free in prison, Judge Hindman said she found there was an unacceptable risk that he would breach his bail conditions if released from prison.

“Ultimately, I accept the thrust of the Crown’s submissions that the applicant’s criminal history and alleged offending in both 2018 and 2024, even though he is presumed innocent of those charges, appears to me to be a reflection of someone who plans to get involved in drugs. -related for-profit commercial activities,” she said.

“The offense is of a high standard, brutal and determined.

‘It reflects a determined individual who is motivated to do whatever is necessary to achieve his stated objectives, which, together with the boating aspect of the alleged offence, in my view indicates that the risks relating to flight and further offending are more likely to occur here be real than apparent. ‘

Mr Draper was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his involvement in the smuggling plot and gave evidence against the brothers at their criminal trial.

The jury ruled in 2021 that Dru was the main organizer of the plot.

Nathan was sentenced to 25 years in prison, while Dru received a 28-year sentence before the sentences were overturned following their successful appeal.

Court of Appeal Judge David Boddice will publish his reasons for granting Nathan’s appeal at a later date.