Moura drugs dealer lands in prison

KATON Hutchinson's brief foray into small-time drug trafficking earned him $16,000 in just 10 weeks.

However, that venture also converted into a 12-month jail term this week.

The 23-year-old Moura labourer pleaded guilty in Rockhampton Supreme Court to a charge of trafficking and possession of a dangerous drug.

A police search of his home in December 2004 had uncovered a large amount of cash and evidence he had made 153 separate cannabis transactions.

Justice Peter Dutney told him although the possession charge was insignificant, the amount being only a couple of grams, trafficking was a "different kettle of fish''.

"If people choose to make a living or engage for profit in the selling of dangerous drugs to others, then it seems to me they must expect a term of imprisonment if they are caught,'' he said.

When Hutchinson was arrested at his home he was in possession of almost $4000 in cash, which he admitted was the proceeds of drug dealing.

In sentencing Justice Dutney said he took into account the low scale and unsophisticated trafficking operation and that he had co-operated with police and had no criminal history.

He ordered the jail term be suspended after four months and said Hutchinson must not commit another offence, punishable by imprisonment, within a period of two years if he was to avoid being dealt with for the suspended term of imprisonment.



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