‘Drug dependent’ man jailed for trafficking business
A court has heard how a man threatened violence to settle a drug debt and supplied drugs in exchange for sexual favours during a four month drug trafficking operation.
Andrew Kevin Snaith, 25, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Supreme Court on last week to a number of offences including drug trafficking and possessing dangerous drugs in excess of two grams.
The court heard police searched Snaith's home in August 2019.
Before the search began Snaith declared he had drugs and drug paraphernalia in the garage.
During the raid police found ice, marijuana and a cutting agent, as well as utensils such as clip seal bags and pipes.
A phone was also found in the garage, which was searched after Snaith gave officers the passcode to unlock it.
The phone messages revealed Snaith carried out a four month drug trafficking business.
Messages further revealed Snaith had supplied drugs on at least 180 occasions to about 41 customers.
At least 100 actual supplies occurred with 89 of them being just ice and 23 of marijuana, with four other supplies for both.
The total amount of the supplies with the prices discussed was $5575.
Snaith was mostly paid in cash but there were a couple of transactions where the money was deposited in his bank account.
He also used three associates on different occasions to deliver drugs on his behalf.
The court heard Snaith was "cautious" about having customers meet at his home, organising to meet them at a nearby park.
He also tried to dissuade customers from going to his home on Saturday nights when there was greater police presence in the area.
On one occasion Snaith threatened violence to a customer to recover a debt of $70.
One message revealed that Snaith had been cut off by Centrelink at one stage with his drug trade being his only source of income.
There were also a number of occasions where Snaith offered to supply a female customer with drugs in exchange for sexual favours.
Messages also revealed Snaith was, at times, willing to negotiate the price of his drugs to customers.
In total police found 37.322g of crystallised substance which upon analysis was revealed to contain 14.641g of pure methamphetamine with the average purity of 38.8 per cent.
There was also nine grams of marijuana.
Crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread told the court at the time of the offending Snaith was subject to an intensive corrections order for a previous offence.
Mr Whitbread submitted to the court that a prison sentence of between five and six years was within range with the intensive corrections order to be revoked and served concurrently.
Snaith's barrister Nick Larter told the court his client had sought assistance from his GP to get help with his drug use.
Prior submissions forwarded to the court said Snaith started experimenting with marijuana at the age of 13 before moving on to more serious drugs at 16.
The court heard that Snaith had turned to the heavy use of drugs after the breakdown of a relationship.
Mr Larter told the court at the time his client was a "drug dependent" person and there were times where Snaith hadn't slept for up to four days because of his drug use.
The court heard Snaith had been held in presentence custody for 17 months and that he had completed a number of courses.
It was also said that upon release Snaith intended to turn his back on drugs and take up work that was available to him, as well as resume his drug counselling.
Mr Larter conceded that a prison term of up to five years was within range for his client.
Justice Graeme Crow took into account Snaith's plea of guilty when determining his sentence.
Justice Crow told Snaith that the maximum penalty for the trafficking and drug possession offence was 25 years in jail.
"That is the whole of your life," he said.
Justice Crow warned Snaith that if he didn't turn his back on drugs he would spend most of his life in a jail cell.
"Mr Snaith you're a very young man at the age of 25," he said.
"It's plain in the future that you'll have some bad times, you may form positive relationships in the future and you may suffer from breakdowns.
"But if you think the answer is to turn to drugs then you'll find yourself back in prison again, it certainly isn't the answer.
"You may find yourself, if you do not turn your back on drugs, spending most of your life in prison."
Justice Crow said that in Snaith's favour was his plea of guilty and his co-operation with police.
Snaith was sentenced to five years imprisonment and his intensive correction order was revoked to be served concurrently.
504 days of presentence custody was declared as time already served making Snaith eligible for parole in June.
A serious drug offence certificate was issued.