Drug importer had ‘coma in a bottle’ mailed from China
A MECHANIC was caught trying to import commercial quantities of a drug known as "coma in a bottle" through the post from China, a court has been told.
Bradley William McKenzie, 26, appeared in Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to importing gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) - also known as liquid ecstasy, fantasy or coma in a bottle.
The former Mackay man was caught trying to import the drugs through the post three times between July 2017 and August 2018, but was intercepted before it could be on-sold.
Prosecutor Sophie Harburg told the court that McKenzie sourced the drugs through a Chinese man known as "China Friend", who then posted the drugs to a locker at Bundall on the Gold Coast.
The first package contained two 1 litre bottles of GBL with a label that read "wall paint primer" and less than one month later another GBL package was sent labelled "tree activated broth" in Chinese.
Then in August 2018, when McKenzie was in custody for other offences, a third parcel was shipped to McKenzie's sister at their Labrador address and contained three 900ml bottles labelled as "motorbike oil".
The third package was tested and the GBL was found to have a 98 per cent purity - or a street value of up to $22,400 the court was told.
In court on Wednesday, McKenzie pleaded guilty to two counts of importing border-controlled drugs and one charge of importing commercial quantities of a border-controlled drug.
Ms Harburg said while McKenzie was not in a syndicate, his offending had a "commercial flavour" and he had referred to himself as a "businessman" to his supplier.
"The defendant organised the importations, he placed the orders, he arranged the shipping and the concealment of the drug," Ms Harburg said.
Defence barrister Nicholas McGhee told the court that McKenzie had pleaded guilty on the basis that the drugs were for a "mixed purpose" - partly for his own consumption and partly to on-sell.
The court was told he had first developed an ice addiction after his long-term relationship broke down and then started using GBL.
Mr McGhee said he had moved to Australia from New Zealand when he was six years old and would face the prospect of deportation.
A psychological report showed he was of "medium" risk of reoffending but had committed well to rehabilitation, the court was told.
GBL is known to trigger severe side-effects including vomiting, convulsions, loss of consciousness, respiratory depression and comas.
Justice Soraya Ryan said McKenzie would have known of their fatal consequences.
"You must know that the drug is unsafe," she said.
"You must know that it has been linked to death and serious side effects, mental and physical - including an inability to control your bowels and heart problems."
McKenzie was sentenced to three and a half years' jail.
He will be eligible for parole after serving 21 months. -NewsRegional