Trafficking venture ends in prison

BOWEN teenager Benjamin Power purchased 50 ecstasy tablets on his 18th birthday and that was his start as a drug trafficker.

He made a total of $11,240 in profit over two years and two months before his home was raided by police.

Power, now aged 21, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Mackay yesterday to trafficking in methyl-amphetamines and ecstasy in Bowen between December 7, 2008, and February 25, 2011.

Police found 14 clip-seal bags containing various substances when they raided Power's home, Crown prosecutor Chris Winlaw said.

Some bags contained methyl-amphetamines ready for sale, while others contained various drugs, which were to be used for "cutting down" drugs.

Power admitted to police that he purchased 50 ecstasy tablets on his 18th birthday to start trafficking and his offending escalated from there.

He was a drug user who took marijuana at 15, used ecstasy at 16 and started using methyl-amphetamines at 19.

He sold drugs only to two or three close friends.

Barrister Paddy Cullinane, for Power, said that once Power was arrested he moved to Mackay to live with family and his girlfriend, who was now seven months pregnant.

Power also got a job at the mines and had been drug and alcohol tested about 30 times since March last year and all tests have been negative, Mr Cullinane said.

Power started trafficking after a three-year working stint at a Bowen business ended.

"The offending occurred at a low ebb in his life," Mr Cullinane said.

References were tendered from nine people.

Mr Cullinane asked the court to take into account Power's pleas, the fact that he had no criminal history and that he had co-operated with police.

Power also made full and frank admissions and had shown through regular drug and alcohol testing that he has made genuine attempts at rehabilitation.

Justice David North, SC, said the references showed that Power was a person of promise as a young man. However, all of the circumstances warranted some term of imprisonment.

Power pleaded guilty to five drug-related charges, including trafficking.

He was jailed for three years, to be suspended after serving six months.

He was ordered to pay a penalty of $11,240, which was the proceeds of crime.



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