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Comanchero boss Mark Buddle touches down in Victoria after deportation

Fugitive Comanchero boss Mark Buddle has touched down in Victoria ahead of a court appearance over allegations he imported about $40 million worth of drugs.

August 5, 2022
By Cassandra Morgan
5 August 2022

Fugitive Comanchero boss Mark Buddle has touched down in Victoria ahead of a court appearance over allegations he imported about $40 million worth of drugs.

Australian Federal Police officers escorted the 37-year-old on a chartered flight from Darwin to Melbourne on Friday morning to face charges over the cocaine haul.

He is expected to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday and be charged with one count of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug and one count of conspiring to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

Both offences carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

Buddle was arrested at Darwin airport on Wednesday after being deported from Turkey a day earlier.

He remained under police guard amid security concerns as the Northern Territory Local Court granted an order for him to be extradited to Victoria.

Buddle is accused of importing more than 160kg of cocaine into Melbourne in May last year.

The charges stem from Operation Ironside, which monitored communications shared using the ANOM app.

The app was set up by authorities under the guise of offering organised crime figures a safe encrypted messaging service when in reality it was being monitored by the AFP and FBI.

More than 250 people have been charged in Australia under the operation.