Trafficking in Dangerous Drugs, Immediate Parole Release

A search warrant was executed on our client’s dwelling in Surfers Paradise in September 2017. As a result of the search police located various drugs, drug paraphernalia, Australian currency ($3810), a mobile phone and an IPAD. The phone mobile and IPAD contained drug related messages.

An indictment was presented before the Brisbane Supreme Court charging our client with two separate trafficking periods, a 3.5-month period and 2.5-month period. Our client was also indicted with Possessing a dangerous drug in excess of 2.0 grams (11.561 grams gross, 5.884 grams pure), Possessing a dangerous drug (MDMA, Cannabis) and possessing a thing used in connection with trafficking in a dangerous drug (mobile phone and IPAD).

The initial Schedule of Fact provided that our client was a known supplier of drugs based upon the inference that could be drawn from a number of persons contacting our client requesting to visit our client. The Crown alleged that there were 53 supplies in the first trafficking period and 13 supplies in the second period. The Crown alleged that it was difficult to determine the quantities and types of drugs our client was supplying. The Schedule of Facts referred to our client supplying a variety of drugs including cannabis, methylamphetamine and MDMA.

Based upon the initial charges and facts our client was facing a head sentence of 4 – 5 years imprisonment to serve 16 to 20 months.

Sam O’Connor reviewed the cellebrite downloads and concluded it was clear that the second Trafficking Count could not substantiated. It was our view that there was no degree of continuity as is required to carry on a business of trafficking in dangerous drugs. The Crown alleged there were 13 supplies in the specified trafficking period. A submission was drafted to the Crown seeking the second trafficking count be discontinued and that the Crown instead indict our client on 5 separate supply charges (cannabis only). The Crown accepted this submission and agreed to discontinue the second trafficking Count.

It was submitted with respect to the first count of trafficking that:
• the trafficking dates be amended to a shorter period;
• the number of supplies referenced be reduced from 53 to 21;
• the number of customers be reduced from 20 to 8;
• the quantities related to street level only;
• the type of drug trafficked was cannabis only.

We conceded that one supply (acts prepatory only) could be made out with respect to methylamphetamine and submitted that should form a standalone count of supply. Our submission was accepted and the amendments to the facts sought were made. The outcome of this negotiation significantly changed the level of criminality of our client’s offending, whereby our client was to be sentenced for trafficking in a Schedule 2 drug rather than a Schedule 1 drug.

Following the successful negotiations, the matter was listed for sentence before the Brisbane Supreme Court. A head sentence of 3 years imprisonment was imposed with respect to the remaining trafficking count.

Our client had served some 174 days in pre-sentence custody. Our client received immediate parole at the date of sentence after serving just under 6 months of a 36-month sentence. This was an exceptional result in the circumstances, especially given the outcome of the negotiations.

If you are interested in our criminal lawyers acting on your behalf, please call Samantha O’Connor on 3009 8452 or 0435 575 867.

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