Man, 40, allegedly involved in massive drug operation

A MAN arrested as part of a massive drug bust on the Northern Rivers has been refused bail again.

Brad Stephen Coghlan, 40, has pleaded not guilty two charges of taking part in drug supply following a seven-month police investigation into the supply of ice and guns in Casino, Lismore, Tabulam, Drake and Irvington.

In August, police arrested at least seven people as part of Strike Force Basillie, which seized a large haul of drugs, guns and other goods.

Mr Coghlan remains in Mid North Coast Correctional Centre having been denied bail last year.

His solicitor Tenika Vakauta applied for her client's bail in the Lismore Local Court last month, arguing he had already spent a lengthy "delay" of five months in custody awaiting committal.

Ms Vakauta said the delay was unacceptable as the brief of materials were not "complex" and the prosecution's case was not "overwhelmingly strong".

She said her client had not received material or financial benefit from the ongoing supply of the drugs.

"There is only one instance (in the facts) that July 25 last year (there was) any reference to money in terms of the benefit," Ms Vakauta said.

However, Magistrate Michael Dakin said he couldn't rule out that Mr Coghlan did not gain financial or material benefit from supplying the drugs.

"These drug distribution networks involve more than one person, and people have varying degrees of involvement and varying levels of responsibility," Mr Dakin said.

"If those facts are established at trial, then it seems to me that his involvement is more than transient.

"He was involved perhaps at a street level."

Mr Dakin said police evidence showed Mr Coghlan was allegedly involved in the drug operation through surveillance footage captured during their investigation.

He said if a hearing is established, it will assess whether Mr Coghlan had received drugs or money as payment for his involvement.

The matter will return to Lismore Local Court on March 11 for charge certification.