'Drug driving': Arrests at funeral of man with bikie links
WHAT WE KNOW:
- Police say six people who attended the funeral were charged with drug driving before and after the service
- Police say no Black Uhlan M.C. members -- the group involved -- will be charged under Queensland's anti-bikie VLAD laws
- Taskforce Maxima -- the QPS unit -- sent two of officers to assist Gladstone police
- It was a funeral for James John Gurney Henzell, who took his own life
- Weeks before his death, he described how he wanted to be farewelled by his 'brothers', wearing their 'colours'
The Commander of Taskforce Maxima has confirmed no Black Uhlan M.C. members will be charged under Queensland's anti-bikie VLAD laws.
Detective Superintendent Michael Niland said Friday's funeral procession did not contravene VLAD laws.
"At most of these funerals the procession is being led by two outlaw motorcycle gang members in colours and this was the case [on Friday]," Det Niland said.
Having assisted regional police in around eight funeral processions involving outlaw bikies across the state and similar to the one held by the Black Uhlans M.C.'s on Friday, Det Niland said funerals were "tricky" for police.
"We try to protect the sanctity of the occasion and try to give as much leeway as we can," he said.
Taskforce Maxima confirmed they sent two road traffic police to assist Gladstone police officers.
"We don't believe it was [an] excessive [show of force]," Det Niland said.
"We only sent two members of Maxima at the time and as a result six offenders were caught drug driving.
"Six offenders were arrested for drug driving prior to and post the funeral," he said.
Det Niland said police had intelligence before the procession took place and had made contact with the "persons responsible for conducting the procession on the day".
Acting under the strict VLAD laws introduced by the Newman government, up to 30 police officers altogether blocked roads around the parklands, conducted roadside drug tests and watched on during the funeral service.