Student runs $50,000 drug ring, walks free from court

A BRISBANE law and commerce student who led a secret life running a $50,000-a-month ecstasy pill ring, dubbed "The Squad", in The Met nightclub, in Fortitude Valley, has walked free from court.

Chelsea Pascual Powell, 21, of Redbank Plains, was in the Supreme Court in Brisbane yesterday where she wiped away tears as Justice Martin Daubney sentenced her to a wholly suspended two-year prison sentence for ecstasy trafficking.

"You have nobody to blame except yourself for these consequences Ms Powell," Justice Daubney said, referring to the fact that she dropped out of university after charges were laid.

The court heard that "commercially astute" Powell was 18 years old when she "managed" her drug kingpin boyfriend's Fortitude Valley drug ring for three weeks from May 15, 2015, to June 8, 2015, while he was on holidays overseas.

Her sales turnover was between $41,000 and $51,000 and her profit was between $6000 and $12,000. However, she only pocketed $900 personally, the court heard.

She was arrested as part of a sting that resulted in charges against 25 young Brisbane nightclub drug runners and street-level dealers.

Justice Daubney told her that drug trafficking was an "evil" business that preyed on the weakness of others, adding that aged 18 she was old enough to know better.

"And all for the princely sum of 900 bucks," Justice Daubney told the court.

When arrested the first time, Powell, who was 18 months into a double-degree in law and commerce, downplayed her involvement to police, the court heard.

By the time she was arrested a third time she admitted her role, the court heard.

Barrister Chris Wilson, for Powell, told the court that Powell had put at risk her chances of qualifying for registration as a real estate agent by trafficking in drugs.

Powell works in administration at Ray White Goodna alongside her mother Lea and hopes to become an agent.

Mr Wilson said Powell had done well at Woodcrest State College, Springfield, and went on to study law in 2014.

The man who supplied Powell with some of the ecstasy pills was also sentenced yesterday.

Gavin Nicholas Weiss, 23, an Upper Brookfield gardener, was sentenced to three years in prison for trafficking but was immediately released on parole by Justice Susan Brown.

The court heard that Weiss used the encrypted messaging app Wikr to communicate with customers and that he threatened violence to customers via Facebook.

Weiss told the court he could not recall threatening the customer.

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