Neal Patel

Jail for selling drugs

POLICE intercepted $28,000 worth of drugs headed for the mining community of Blackwater after monitoring a mine labourer's phone calls and messages.

Crown Prosecutor Michael Cowen yesterday told the Supreme Court in Rockhampton that communications between Luke John Stiler, 25, and a relative in 2010 led them to the discovery.

He said Stiler's relative was found with three types of drugs, including ecstasy and cannabis, on a drug run from Brisbane to Blackwater.

Stiler, who earned $1800 a week working at a Blackwater mine, pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs.

Mr Cowen said Stiler had not cooperated with police, only pleading guilty after being caught red-handed.

He said the monetary value of the drug deals appeared to be huge.

The father-of-one's lawyer, Doug Winning, said his client profited $10,000 from the five drug consignments.

Mr Winning said Stiler had represented New South Wales as a junior footballer when he was 12, but "his life went awry" soon after, when he was introduced to marijuana.

The court heard he was taken to hospital as an involuntary patient and diagnosed with drug-induced schizophrenia at 18.

Mr Winning said after being charged in 2010, his client had rehabilitated himself and had been employed long term.

He tendered positive references of his client from Stiler's boss and an employee of The Salvation Army Employment Plus.

Justice Duncan McMeekin sentenced Stiler to seven years jail.

Justice McMeekin imposed a parole eligibility date of only 18 months because of Stiler's youth at the time of the offences, guilty plea and rehabilitation attempts.