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REVEALED: The dubious history of a musclebound criminal being questioned over the mysterious shooting death of Ivona Jovanovic

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 4 days ago Brett Lackey

A musclebound, heavily tattooed man who is being questioned by police over the shooting death of Gold Coast woman Ivona Jovanovic has an extensive criminal history, it can be revealed. 

Ms Jovanovic, 27, was getting ready for a night out when she was shot in the chest at about 8.30pm on Sunday night at a house in Highland Park on the Gold Coast. 

a person standing on a sidewalk: Ivona Jovanovic (pictured), 27, was getting ready for a night out when she was shot in the chest at about 8.30pm on Sunday night at a house in Highland Park on the Gold Coast © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ivona Jovanovic (pictured), 27, was getting ready for a night out when she was shot in the chest at about 8.30pm on Sunday night at a house in Highland Park on the Gold Coast It is understood Christos Panagakos and a number of other people were at the house when the incident occurred. 

A group of five people, including Panagakos, 27, allegedly fled the scene after the shooting. 

Daily Mail Australia does not suggest Panagakos was involved in the shooting death.  

a person posing for the camera: It is understood Christos Panagakos (pictured) and a number of other people were at the house when the incident occurred © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It is understood Christos Panagakos (pictured) and a number of other people were at the house when the incident occurred

The house is owned by Panagakos's mother, who is believed to have called emergency services after the others fled the scene. 

Emergency services transported Ms Jovanovic to Gold Coast University Hospital, where she passed away despite the best efforts of medical staff. 

Panagakos was arrested at about 1am on Monday morning and is currently behind bars on a return-to-prison warrant. 

No one has yet been charged over the shooting of Ms Jovanovic.

Panagakos has an extensive criminal history, according to The Gold Coast Bulletin, including a conviction for trying to smuggle drugs into jail in his rectum.   

It is also alleged that Panagakos has strong ties to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang. 

His previous convictions include dangerous conduct with a weapon, trafficking drugs, supply drugs, trespass, possession of a shortened firearm, obstruct police, failure to dispose of a syringe correctly wilful damage, and public nuisance.

a woman posing for a picture: Gold Coast woman Ivona Jovanovic (pictured) died in mysterious circumstances © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gold Coast woman Ivona Jovanovic (pictured) died in mysterious circumstances

In April 2016 Panagakos walked free from court after pleading guilty to minor drug charges. 

He had originally been facing eight charges over weapons and major drug offences but they were dropped after the court ruled police had searched his car unlawfully. 

Court documents seen by The Gold Coast Bulletin reveal a raid of his house uncovered two ecstasy tablets, anabolic steroids, 101 Viagra tablets, $16,650 in cash, and list of alleged drug debts. 

The search of his car uncovered 28 grams of ice, police allege.  

When the searches were conducted Panagakos had been out of jail for just a month after serving a sentence for dangerous driving. 

He was able to walk away from court after serving seven months at Capricornia prison in Rockhampton. 

In July 2017, after moving to Mackay with his girlfriend, he fronted court in connection to a drug dealing enterprise. 

The Crown Prosecutor, Nathan Crane, said he had been caught up in a network of drug dealing through which he trafficked meth and ecstasy. 

Phone taps by detectives led to him pleading guilty to three charges of trafficking dangerous drugs between March and April 2015. 

a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: It is alleged that Panagakos has strong ties to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It is alleged that Panagakos has strong ties to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang

One of the phone taps showed Panagakos had been trying to buy between four and eight ounces of ice from Beenleigh on the Gold Coast. 

The second trafficking charge was connected to deal for $6700 worth of ice, which the court heard Panagakos had described to the buyer as 'f***ing primo'. 

The last charge involved the sale of 500 ecstasy pills. 

Justice James Henry made note of Panagakos 'appalling' eight-page criminal history and sentenced him to three and a half years jail with no parole for 10 months. 

As he was being searched after his sentencing, ice and valium dropped from his rectum. 

He appeared in the same court in December 2017 to answer for the 'extremely stupid' attempt at smuggling drugs into prison. 

The court also heard he tried a similar stunt at Ipswich police station with a bag of various drugs. 

Panagakos pleaded guilty to drug possession charges - one for the 2015 Ipswich incident and two for the 2017 smuggling attempt. 

His defence solicitor argued the reason he atempted the smuggling was his anxirty about going to prison.   

a woman sitting down talking on a cell phone: No one has yet been charged over the tragic shooting of Ivona Jovanovic (pictured) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited No one has yet been charged over the tragic shooting of Ivona Jovanovic (pictured)

'He instructs the reason why he did what he did was simply to reduce his stress and anxiety about going to prison,' he said.

'But he recognises that not only were his actions just extremely stupid, to use his words, but they were very contrary to the generous discounts that his honour Justice (James) Henry had given him in sentencing.'

Panagakos read out a letter on video to the court in which he said he had reflected on his actions while behind bars. 

'What is apparent is that I use drugs to self medicate during stressful situations that I have difficulty coping with.' he said. 

'I now realise this has been cowardly on my behalf and I'm simply running away from problems rather than dealing with them in a mature manner.' 


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