Drug 'safe house' bookie jailed
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A Tullamarine man has been jailed for 19 years and six months over his role in a criminal syndicate that operated a methamphetamine ‘safe house’ in suburban Melbourne.
The man, 44, was handed the sentence after facing the County Court of Victoria today (Thursday 8 December, 2022) for serious drug and money laundering offences.
AFP investigators arrested and charged the man after a money laundering investigation led them to his Melbourne home, where they discovered drugs and ledgers detailing the movement and sale price of illicit drugs.
AFP members executed a search warrant at the Tullamarine property in December 2020 as part of a money laundering investigation.
Officers discovered 43 kilograms of methamphetamine inside a large heavy-duty safe and concealed inside a dishwasher. AFP forensics later confirmed 35kgs of the methamphetamine was considered to be pure.
The methamphetamine located inside the property included bags branded and concealed in gold tea packets.
Detectives discovered and seized a detailed hand-written ledger outlining a series of historic drug and money transactions. Forensic analysis later supported the allegation the notebooks belonged to the Tullamarine man.
The ledgers indicated more than 120kgs of cocaine and 47kgs of methamphetamine had been trafficked from the safe house by the man over a 12-month period.
Large amounts of cash ($60,000 AUD), clip seal bags containing MDMA and cocaine, along with drug paraphernalia were also located and seized at the property.
It is estimated the 35 kilograms of methamphetamine seized in this investigation would have the potential to cause more than $8 million in harm to the Australian community.
The 44-year-old man pleaded guilty to the following charges while facing court on 17 May, 2022:
- Traffick in a commercial quantity of controlled drugs contrary to sub-sections 302.2(1) and 311.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
- Deal with money or property worth $100,000 or more that is proceeds of crime, contrary to sub-section 400.4(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
- Deal with money or property worth $50,000 or more that is proceeds of crime, contrary to sub-section 400.5(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
The Tullamarine man was sentenced to serve 19 years and three months behind bars, with a non-parole period of 12 years and three months.
Note to media:
Media are encouraged to include help-seeking information in stories about illicit drugs to minimise any negative impact on people in the community. The following services provide people with access to support and information.
- For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drug treatment services call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
- Access free 24/7 drug and alcohol counselling online at counsellingonline.org.au.
- For information about drug and alcohol addiction treatment or support, go to turningpoint.org.au.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297