Police uncover Broncos star’s ties to drug kingpin
Rising Broncos star Izaia Perese is unlikely to return to Red Hill for the remainder of the year after he was charged with multiple drug offences over the weekend.
A separate police investigation into an alleged drug kingpin found 22-year-old Perese had allegedly been associated with him and as a result has been charged by authorities.
Police confirmed the former Reds player was charged with supplying a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug, unlawful possession of a controlled drug and obtaining property from trafficking a dangerous drug.
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He is due to appear in Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on March 9.
Brisbane bosses have taken a tough stance on the matter, immediately standing him down and not allowing him to train or play with the team until the matter is resolved.
No other Broncos players are understood to be involved in the matter.
Perese was supposed to play for the Broncos in the Perth NRL Nines over the weekend but was quietly absent from the tournament.
It's understood the club had been notified of the charges just a day out from the start of the competition and immediately sent Perese home to deal with the matter.
He has spoken with police and has since been released on bail but his future with the Broncos now remains on tenterhooks.
The cross-code star made his NRL debut in Round 22 last year when he played off the bench in Brisbane's 24-12 win over Penrith at Suncorp Stadium.
He starred for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup last year, scoring 11 tries in 18 games, including a mammoth 140 tackle busts.
He was earmarked as a future star of the club but the recent drug offences have now hampered his effort of ever playing for the Broncos again.
Broncos CEO Paul White said the NRL Integrity Unit had been made aware of the matter and would work closely with their investigation.
"Standing down Izaia is not a judgement of his guilt or innocence, but recognition that this is a serious matter," White said.
"We have discussed our course of action and the reasoning behind it with Izaia, and he understands the action we have taken.
"We will review the matter as it moves through the legal process."
An NRL spokesman on Monday confirmed the Broncos had advised the integrity unit of the arrest.
"The NRL Integrity Unit is working with the Brisbane Broncos on this matter," they said.
The Broncos club-imposed sanction on Perese continues their tough stance on player behaviour.
Star forward Payne Haas was suspended for the opening four rounds of 2019 and fined $20,000 for failing to cooperate with the NRL Integrity Unit over a matter involving his family.