His pharmacy business and fishing venture failed… so one Brisbane pharmacist turned to crime
The Courier Mail reports that the pharmacist, a father of one, was caught with 5kg of methamphetamine when police searched his car in a McDonalds car park in August 2017.
After the pharmacist and his co-accused originally faced charges in 2017, Rockhampton Police Criminal Investigation Bureau officer-in-charge Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey told media that the seizure was the largest he had ever seen in his work in central Queensland.
He said that the value of the methamphetamine seized would be around $900,000 wholesale, but that the street value was likely much more.
The search took place after a member of the public tipped off police.
The pharmacist and a co-accused, who police allege was the ring-leader of the methamphetamine trafficking operation, were heading at the time to deliver the drug to a buyer in Mackay.
Their operation allegedly took place over 10 years, also involved cannabis and was worth $20 million.
Operatives would take methamphetamine and cannabis from Sydney to Brisbane, and then on to Mackay, as well as delivering significant amounts of money on return trips.
The Courier Mail reports that the pharmacist got involved in 2008 or 2009, as he needed money to pay his mortgage among other bills. His pharmacy business had failed, as had another, in fish farming.
He stopped between 2011 and 2014 while overseas, but went back to work with the trafficking operation when he returned to Queensland.
He 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.
He also flew to Sydney a number of times, obtained methamphetamine and put it in his luggage before returning to Brisbane.
The pharmacist only faced charges pertaining to activities in the 3.8 years before he was caught with the drugs in the McDonalds car park.
While he reportedly delivered around $10 million worth of drugs over that time, he only earned $120,000.
Justice Jean Dalton slammed the man’s actions in her pre-sentencing remarks, 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 pharmacist had pleaded guilty to six charges which included possessing and trafficking a dangerous drug. He will be sentenced at a later date.
A number of men have faced charges but not yet been sentenced.