Immediate parole for man caught in drug sting

A MOUNTAIN Creek man who was caught supplying meth during a Bundaberg police sting has been jailed for two years but released on immediate parole.

Jesse Lee Banks, 23, pleaded guilty on Monday in the Brisbane Supreme Court to 16 charges which included supplying and possessing methamphetamines in Bundaberg over a 12-month period prior to his arrest in December, 2011.

He initially was charged with trafficking, but those charges later were dropped.

Crown Prosecutor Dennis Kinsella told the court Banks, who is a gas worker at Roma, obtained the drugs from a person he knew in Bundaberg, where he was living at the time with his family, then on-sold it to people he knew in the area.

He said Banks was not a drug user and his only motivation was a commercial one.

"He came under the notice of police during an investigation into another person who was heavily involved in the drug scene in Bundaberg," he said.

"That person, and others, have since been charged with drug-related offences.

"When he was arrested,police discovered small quantities of meth in his car which he said he was going to sell to an acquaintance in Roma where he knew the demand for the drug was particularly high.

"However, the Crown concedes that several of the offences he was charged with would not have been revealed if not for his full and frank admissions to police during an interview."

Defence barrister James Godbolt told the court Banks had become involved with the wrong crowd during a time of brief unemployment.

He said he saw others making money from selling drugs and stupidly became involved.

"Working in his favour is his young age, lack of criminal history, co-operation with investigators which allowed them to lay charges against other people they were not aware of and very good prospects of rehabilitation," he said.

"He is deeply ashamed of his wrongdoing.

"He has an outstanding job, working in the gas fields at Roma, where he works two weeks on and two weeks off.

"I could not anticipate he would ever be back before the courts again for this type of offence."

Justice Peter Lyons sentenced Banks to two years in jail but ordered he be released on immediate parole.

"Methamphetamine is a category one drug which can do significant harm to those who become addicted to it," he said.

"I accept your only motivation was a commercial one.

"You have disassociated yourself from those people in Bundaberg and moved away from the area to pursue work in Roma and you have indicated you want to start a family with your partner on the Sunshine Coast.

"It would seem to me from your references you are a useful member of the community."

Justice Lyons ordered convictions be recorded on all 16 charges.



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