Rod Bridge: Australian father poses as crime boss after teenage son falls to his death on synthetic drug

Witnesses said Preston Bridge thought he could fly

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The Independent Online

An Australian father whose teenage son died after leaping from a balcony while hallucinating on a synthetic drug, has revealed how he posed as a crime boss to expose how easy it is to smuggle the substances into the country.

Preston Bridge, 16, fell from a balcony in Perth after taking 25i-NBOMe in February 2013. Witnesses said it appeared as if the teenager believed he could fly due to the effects of the drug, the boy’s father Rod Bridge told the documentary 60 Minutes.

Tyron Edwards, a chief scientist at Safework Laboratories, told Channel 9 News that the drugs, including 25i-NBOMe which is 60 times more potent that LSD, are “mind altering to the Xth degree”.

“[There were] reports in America of a person chewing off someone’s face while on it,” he said.

Following his son’s untimely death, Mr Bridge infiltrated the underground world of drug dealers after he said government agencies did not response to his requests for help.

As part of the documentary, Mr Bridge secretly filmed his interactions with dealers who believed he was a drugs boss in Australia.

Mr Bridge was offered five different chemicals to take into Australia, including one deal involving over 200kg, and was told that around 100kg of the drugs are shipped into the country each month.

“I hope it will save other lives,” Mr Bridge said of his undercover mission.

“These synthetic drugs and psychoactive drugs kill people — it’s Russian roulette with your life.”

Reporter Liz Hayes, who accompanied Mr Bridge in China, told News.com.au that the drugs comes under the label of “research chemicals” in China.

But she added: “We couldn’t find much research, but certainly found a lot of chemicals.”

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Pakcets of synthetic drugs which were seized in the US (Image: Getty)

Last week, the Australian Justice Minister Michael Keanon announced measures to tackle synthetic drug smuggling, including new powers for police officers to seize the substances and prevent them from getting into the hands of dealers.

The government said the new laws closed a loophole which enabled criminals to tweak the chemical structure of illicit drugs to ensure entry into Australia and avoid prosecution.

Those caught importing synthetic drugs into Australia could face up to five years imprisonment or a $54,000 fine.

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