A pharmacist turned methamphetamine courier has been handed a 10-year jail sentence for his role in a $20 million interstate ice trafficking venture
The Courier Mail reports that the pharmacist couriered up to $17 million in cash as well as 44kg of ice between Queensland and NSW between 2013 and 2017.
At a July 2019 pre-sentencing hearing in Brisbane, the court heard that following the failure of his pharmacy business and a fishing operation, the man became involved with the illicit drug trafficking operation because he needed money.
At the time, Justice Jean Dalton subjected him to harsh criticism, saying that “as a pharmacist, this man must have known that in the kilos and kilos he was shifting, how many doses there were and how many would result in a fatal overdose”.
“He needed some money? Big deal, he knew how dreadful this substance was.”
The Courier Mail reports that the pharmacist checked the cash into his baggage to Sydney “at least” 20 times, after which he would drive a hired car back into Queensland, bringing the drugs with him.
The ring also involved bringing cannabis across state borders.
The pharmacist reportedly delivered up to 12kg of methamphetamine to Mackay a year, for four years, returning with cash which he delivered to the syndicate in Brisbane.
While he stopped his involvement between 2011 and 2014 while he was overseas, upon his return to Australia he resumed the trafficking. The charges pertained only to activities in the 3.8 years before he was caught.
He was reported to have earned only $120,000 from his illegal activities.
The pharmacist was eventually caught by police along with the alleged ringleader of the operation, in a McDonald’s car park in Rockhampton, where the two were found with 5kg of methamphetamine.
He pleaded guilty to six charges which included possessing and trafficking a dangerous drug.
At the sentencing, Justice Dalton said that she did not feel that the pharmacist felt remorse for his actions.
Describing him as the operation’s “right hand man,” she said that, “More than anyone else in the courtroom, you were best qualified to know how many doses of dangerous drugs you carried” as well as the adverse effects likely from the drug.
She sentenced him to 10 years in jail.