Former Home and Away and Heartbreak High star Putu Winchester-Stanton has been charged alongside seven other men for drug offenses in relation to two separate investigations into cocaine supply in Byron Bay.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 44-year-old was “charged with 10 offences including supplying commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group.”
Police reportedly “located and seized approximately 340 grams of cocaine, more than $25,000 cash and other proceeds of crime”.
“In total, seven men were arrested during the warrants and taken to local police stations.”
The arrests came following inquiries in October last year, after which police executed four search warrants at a Byron Bay business and at homes in Byron Bay, Bangalow, and Mullumbimby about 1 pm on April 22.
Northern Region operations manager Detective Acting Superintendent Greg Thomas APM, said of the arrests: “The Far North Coast is continually becoming increasingly popular with domestic tourists, and it is our job to ensure locals and visitors feel safe in our holiday towns.”
Putu is best known as main cast member Dennis Klinsmann on Heartbreak High from 1997 to 1999. He also had starred in other iconic Australian shows, including Home and Away and Water Rats.
Back in 2016, Putu spoke to news.com.au out about his work on Heartbreak High.
“Look, the chemistry within the cast was always amazing,” he told the publication.
“That’s my experience, but I never had any issues, so I think I was well-liked and I liked everybody that I work with — so that was fine.
“Maybe they were some issues with the emotions that come into play, but none of them involved me, so I was always just really, really happy to be there all the time.”
It comes following the news that Netflix was set to revive Heartbreak High in 2022, with Que Minh Luu, Netflix’s Director of Originals in Australia, saying of the reboot:
“We haven’t had a rebellious Australian YA series on screen since the original Heartbreak High, so this is well overdue.
“The new Heartbreak High is for young people in Australia today to feel seen – showcasing their stories, senses of humour and aesthetics to the world, and reminding everyone that they are much, much cooler than us.
“It’s also for the 90s kids, fans of the original series who remember what it’s like to feel understood by a TV show, then racking off. This Netflix show will be ours, and we can’t wait to get started.”