Tradie stockpiled meth to survive COVID-19 lockdown

A tradie who feared a COVID-19 lockdown without drugs purchased more than five grams of methamphetamines from multiple sources to stockpile and use during lockdown.

Reece Adam Vaughan, 30, was busted by police in possession of nine clip-seal bags containing various amounts of meth when they searched his home in Bargara, south of Bundaberg, on May 26, 2020.

He pleaded guilty on March 31 in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton to one count of possessing dangerous drug in excess of two grams, one possess a dangerous drug and one possess drug utensils.

Crown prosecutor Elise Sargent said some were in street level saleable quantities.

She said seven were found in Vaughan's bedroom in a magnetic box along with two sets of digital scales, two grinders, two pipes and a bong.

Ms Sargent said one was found concealed inside a guitar in Vaughan's bedroom.

The other was located in the driver's seat of the hire car Vaughan had paid for.

The total amount of meth found was 5.732 grams of which 3.233 grams was pure.

He was on parole at the time for trafficking drugs.

Read more here: Jail for tradie meth dealer

Defence barrister Callan Cassidy said his client had future employment as a carpenter with a former employer.

Justice Graeme Crow said Vaughan told police the meth was for personal use and he had heard it was difficult to source drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic, so he purchased what he could from various sources.

He said police did not find Vaughan in possession of cash, text messages or other electronic messages about drug sales, or a tick sheet, which suggested the meth was not being used for commercial purposes, but for personal use as Vaughan claimed.

Vaughan's criminal record was only two pages long with four entries.

However, one of those was for trafficking marijuana for two months and he was sentenced in Townsville District Court for the offence.

Another was for trafficking meth for 11 months in the Bundaberg area between October 26, 2016 and September 7, 2017.

Justice Crow sentenced Vaughan to two years prison for the May 2020 possession of meth, declared 229 days presentence custody with immediate parole eligibility.

The new sentence is to run concurrent with the outstanding drug trafficking sentence.



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