Pubdate: Thu, 26 Oct 2000
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 The Sydney Morning Herald
Contact:  GPO Box 3771, Sydney NSW 2001
Fax: +61-(0)2-9282 3492
Author: Desmond O'grady, Herald Correspondent In Rome


Australian Simon Main and the man accused of being his drug-smuggling
accomplice have allegedly given police information leading to the
seizure of 1,900,000 ecstasy tablets in Los Angeles.

The report in Italy is the first suggestion that Main, facing up to 20
years in jail if found guilty, may be helping police in a bid to
reduce his potential sentence.

Main, whose mother is a former partner of entertainer Barry Crocker,
and Englishman Alex Bruell face charges of international drug
trafficking after their arrest near Trieste in April.

Police allege Bruell was carrying 330,000 ecstasy pills, the largest
quantity ever seized in Italy, and was about to deliver them to Main
in a restaurant car park. The Trieste daily, Il Piccolo,has reported
that information provided to police had led to the huge ecstasy haul
in Beverly Hills.

Bruell had co-operated with police from the time of his arrest, but
Main has told Italian police he was in the wrong place at the wrong
time when drug squad officers arrested Bruell.

The article in Il Piccolois the first suggestion that Main may be
helping police on the case.

However, if Main's defence - as outlined in Il Piccolo-stands up, he
might not have any need to do so. The paper says Main believed he was
to collect a large sum of money to take out of Italy, not drugs.

As he was arrested before any exchange of bags containing the ecstasy,
this claim may save him from the drug-trafficking charge, unless he is
implicated through tapped phone conversations with Bruell.

According to Il Piccolo, Main, worried that the money might be stolen
from him, employed a former British policeman to follow and protect
him. But this escort had fled when he saw the arrest in the car park.

After the arrest, investigators told the Heraldthey suspected there
was a follow-up car outside the car park and that Bruell communicated
with its driver via a phone he had hanging around his neck.

In July, Bruell's lawyer is supposed to have promised that the escort
was coming to Italy to testify. He did not arrive, allegedly because
he feared arrest, but it is claimed he is willing to give evidence in

Italian investigators say their phone tapping enabled them to identify
Bruell's Los Angeles boss as a man named Dave. They also claim to have
the address where Bruell sent 125,000 ecstasy tablets hidden in
furniture transported by Federal Express.
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