Perth man jailed over meth import plot

Editor’s Note: Images of the drugs and painting available via Hightail

A Perth man has been sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment over a foiled plot to import more than four kilograms of methamphetamine hidden behind a painting sent from Canada.

The man, 39, was sentenced by the WA District Court this week (3 October 2022) after pleading guilty in May (2022) to attempting to possess the illicit drugs, which were intercepted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police in October 2021.

Three vacuum sealed bags containing a white crystalline substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine weighing 4.1 kilograms, were found stuck in the frame of a painting.

The AFP launched an investigation and worked with Canadian authorities to deliver the package, without the drugs, to the destined address in Embleton, in Perth’s north-eastern suburbs.

When police searched the home later that day, they found the substituted drugs in a pillow case buried in a garden bed. Other parts of the consignment, including the wooden back panel of the painting frame, were discarded behind bins.

Forensic testing later identified the man’s fingerprint on the wrapping that the substituted substance was found in.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Andrea Coleman said that amount of methamphetamine could have been sold as street level deals to about 41,000 people in WA.

“Methamphetamine use causes immense harm, not only to users but to the wider community,” she said.

 “The collaborative efforts of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the AFP stopped this methamphetamine from reaching West Australians and disrupted an international drug supply chain.

“We also prevented those involved in the plot from profiting at the community’s expense and using the potential $4 million from street sales to fund other criminal ventures.”

The man was sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years and six months’ for attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border controlled drug, contrary to section 307.5(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

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