Senior Canberra Rebels bikie jailed after police reveals key to encrypted text messages

Rebels MC

In December 2016 ACT Rebels vice-president Leigh Slater was riled and threatening revenge.

The outlaw motorcycle club boss had been sold low quality drugs and he had failed to remanufacture the methamphetamine to increase the purity.

The 34-year-old had $60,000 on the line, so fired off a number of text messages on an encrypted network to vent his anger:

“I’ve got my own prob I’m thinkinh ill knee cap this c**t … I got half a keg [kilogram] looks hectix when I washed 50/50 cutter I lost 14 gram 1 oz!!!! If it not fix I’m shooting him today.

“Putrid c**t I’m on the way ti his little bro house no ill pop him in the leg I’m frying 60k for 50/50.

“I msg the c**k only waiting after this maggots brother ill go see this guy who speard me to him, I’m pissed off ill stabbing some1.”

It was a setback, but unbeknown to Slater, he had bigger problems on the horizon.

Coded messages key to busting drug-dealing network

PHOTO: Leigh Slater (Facebook)

The drug business had been thriving and lucrative for the hulking bikie.

He was directing large drug deals in Sydney, remotely from Canberra, with the help of the Penrith chapter of the Rebels.

The network, despite being encrypted, added an extra layer of protection via codenames for drugs and group members.

Methamphetamine oil was called “oil”, amphetamine was referred to as “gas”, and methamphetamine was referred to as “fryd”, a misspelt shortened version of fried rice, rhyming slang for ice.

Slater used the codename Universal Man, and was often also referred to as “ACT mate”.

Other men involved in the network used the names Shazza and Supersmooth.


Leigh Slater kneels in front of a woman, appearing to propose. The Eiffel Tower is in the background.
PHOTO: Leigh Slater (Facebook)

Bikie informant revealed code to police

Slater’s problems arose when other Rebels bikies in Sydney attempted to stand over his go-between.

Terrified, the man went to the police, offering up the code to the encrypted networks in order to shut down the drug supply syndicate.

NSW District Court documents show “Universal Man” directed the deals via the encrypted messages, with a go-between buying and then on-selling methamphetamine on the Canberra Rebels bikies’ behalf.

According to the documents, Slater would pay $48,000 for 500 grams of the drug and then sell it for $65,000 — keeping $12,000 for himself for organising the sale.

But in June 2017 police swooped on Slater’s home in Scullin in Canberra’s north and extradited him to NSW, where he was charged with three counts of drug trafficking and one count of taking part in the supply of a large commercial drug.

Slater pleaded guilty and was last week sentenced to five years’ jail, with a non-parole period of three years.

He will be eligible for parole in June next year.

Source: ABC