Recently sacked NRL star Jamil Hopoate has been charged over a large scale cocaine importation, after allegedly leading policeon a daring daylight pursuit.

Police will allege the son of notorious former Manly player John Hopoate, and the brother of Bulldogs star Will Hopoate wasallegedly seen accessing a truck linked to a haul of cocaine at Port Botany about 10.30am on Tuesday morning.

Moments later it is alleged the 26-year-old and a woman got into a car and left the area.

When NSW Police, who had been surveilling the truck, attempted to intercept the pair Hopoate allegedly took off, leading officers on a pursuit through the streets of Botany.

 

At one point it is alleged he decide to get out of the vehicle and took off on foot.

Police allege Hopoate threw a backpack containing a smaller amount of cocaine over a fence, as police continued their chase.

He was eventually arrested and after spending the day being questioned by police, was charged with supplying a large commercialquantity of cocaine and using a vehicle to avoid apprehension.

Hopoate will face Central Local Court on Wednesday.

Hopoate was let go by the Broncos at the end of the 2020 season after he made his NRL debut for the club in Round 1.

Jamil Hopoate at Broncos training during his time with the club. Picture: Liam Kidston
Jamil Hopoate at Broncos training during his time with the club. Picture: Liam Kidston

He was left without a club for the 2021 season with potential offers snuffed out after he pleaded guilty in February to hittinghis partner Shae Beathe to the ground before allegedly getting in his car and driving away from the scene.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault relating to allegations he struck Beathe in the carpark of the Club Pantherslicensed venue in Port Macquarie on December 28 last year.

Hopoate was thrown out for spitting on security after he and Beathe - the mother of his 10-month-old child - became embroiled in an argument.

Court documents showed Hopoate was alleged to have knocked Beathe to the ground after striking her with his open palm.

 

 

She was taken to hospital by police for treatment and Hopoate was pulled over and charged with mid-range drink driving afterrecording a blood alcohol reading of 0.095.

The incident was said to have cost Hopoate an opportunity with a Sydney-based NRL side.

Hopoate played 12 NRL games last season - as a lock and second-rower - for the Broncos, who came in last place.

He had also been sacked by the Manly Sea Eagles after he was jailed for one year in 2014 and issued with a two-year goodbehaviour bond over a violent attack on two men outside a Manly pub.

 

Originally published as NRL star caught in huge cocaine bust