One of the men caught up in the Tamworth 'ice castle' police sting might need a liver transplant, a court has been told.
Matthew Robert Lee is awaiting sentence for supplying ice, after being arrested in Dubbo last year, but the proceedings have been delayed because of his health.
Legal Aid defence solicitor Rae Parker requested an adjournment in Tamworth District Court this week to investigate the severity of her client's "medical issues".
"Mr Lee has significant medical issues which I'm exploring but one of those is treatment for liver damage and he tells me today he's been treated for a heart condition," she said.
"I'm waiting for those reports to come back because it's important to know as he proceeds to sentence.
"He may be put on a waiting list for a liver transplant, so we really do need to know that."
Lee appeared in court via video link from Macquarie Correctional Centre, where he is being held. The court heard he is being treated at the prison hospital by medical specialists and it's been a "positive experience".
He told Judge Deborah Payne that he had been put on medication to treat swelling in his legs, a suspected complication of liver cirrhosis or a heart problem.
"I have done treatment for Hep C [hepatitis] in the past and I've cleared all that," he said.
Ms Parker said the jail he is in, on the other side of Wellington, seemed to be the "best of a bad bunch" with prisoners working for half of the day and studying for the other.
"That's a bit of positivity, isn't it?" Judge Payne said.
Lee has been committed for sentence and a sentence assessment report has been completed in his case.
He was charged with supplying more than an indictable quantity of drugs and participating in a criminal group after he was arrested by Strike Force Radius police in June in Dubbo.
Lee's been behind bars since, accused of being part of the huge Tamworth drug ring.
He was one of the 30 men and women charged in the wake of the police operation that first unfolded with a series of raids in Tamworth in May.
Lee first entered a plea of guilty to dealing the drug ice in Tamworth Local Court in mid-December.
His case was adjourned until mid-April for the medical evidence to be obtained ahead of sentencing. He will remain in custody.
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