News

‘Gangsters’ drug business had a street value up to $1.665m

Police escort Jason Robert Ryan from the Rockhampton Police Station to the watchhouse after drug raids  in 2011.
Police escort Jason Robert Ryan from the Rockhampton Police Station to the watchhouse after drug raids in 2011. Allan Reinikka

AS the drugs piled up in their homes and cars, a group of Rockhampton dealers made the call to take their million-plus dollar business to a new level.

The five men will learn the fate of their actions today when Judge Duncan McMeekin sentences them in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton.

The court yesterday heard the group, led by kingpin Jason Robert Ryan, built up a drug enterprise over six months during late-2010 and early-2011.

With the help of Benjamin Francis Carey and Darron Jayde Smith, Ryan organised a rental property in Western St, Rockhampton and a "drug" phone, to conduct their illegal enterprise as business ramped up.

The trio were joined by accomplices Juan Kevin Lloyd Bright and Corie Weldon, who were also involved in the operation.

Bright kept a gun in the house.

What they face

Jason Robert Ryan: Prosecution seeks a jail term of 10-12 years. Defence argues a term of between 8-9 years.

Benjamin Francis Carey: Prosecution seeks a jail term of 10-12 years. Defence argues a term of between 8-9 years.

Darron Jayde Smith: Prosecution seeks a jail term of 8-9 years. Defence argues a term of 7-9 years and requested an earlier parole release than the usual one-third mark.

Juan Kevin Lloyd Bright: Prosecution seeks a jail term of 6-7 years. Defence argues a term of 4-6 years.

Corie Weldon: Prosecution seeks a jail term of at least 5 years. Defence argues 4-5 years.

Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge said Ryan, Carey and Smith organised the property to house their overflowing drug supply, which at one point had a street value up to $1.665m.

"The three arranged the house and phone because they were having trouble with the number of drugs piling up in their houses and cars," Ms Hedge said.

She said Ryan told the crew they would start operating like "gangsters".

The methamphetamine business came crashing down though when police arrested the group in February, 2011, following months of surveillance on the operation.

All five pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges.

All five were remanded in custody overnight.

Topics:  drugs gun police rockhampton supreme court trafficking



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