Man stores drug cooking gear as payment for crashing mate's car
HE TOLD police he was just looking after some gear for a mate, but Warren John Maloney knew more than he was letting on.
Officers had uncovered 45 items involved in methamphetamine production at Maloney's Moura home including iodine, butane canisters, gas cylinders, cookers, caustic soda, scales, syringes, filters, water pipes and clip seal bags.
In one bag, they found 39 cannabis seeds.
As police searched the property on December 8, 2015, a package arrived containing a glass spiral condenser.
Maloney, 30, told officers he was looking after some of the equipment for a friend and used certain chemicals and solvents to clean metal.
But a phone found at the house told a different story, with messages suggesting Maloney knew about the drugs being made.
Eventually Maloney admitted he knew about the drug production, but wasn't involved in cooking and was simply told when the product was available.
This morning, he pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton District Court to 11 counts of supplying dangerous drugs, one of producing a dangerous drugs and four other minor drug-related charges.
The court heard Maloney agreed to store the equipment to repay a debt to a friend and their girlfriend, whose car he had crashed but could not pay to repair.
The prosecutor said the offending had been aggravated by Maloney's differing versions of events.
She said other aggravating factors were Maloney's assistance in buying certain medication used in production and "advertising” when drugs were available.
While the equipment was not set up for use at Maloney's address, it was capable of drug production and had been used for that purpose in the past.
Defence barrister Tom Polley said Maloney started using methamphetamine after a break-up, but was recovering from the addiction and had "made inroads into rehabilitation” with a new job.
Judge Michael Burnett questioned whether Maloney had assisted police by providing the identity of the friend he was storing equipment for.
Mr Polley said while Maloney had not given the name, he had confirmed the equipment belonged to a person whose credit card was found at the house.
Judge Burnett described the offences as serious, saying they had contributed to the production and supply of drugs which was part of a "major” community issue.
"Your engagement in this activity was driven by your addiction,” he told Maloney.
Maloney was given a head sentence of two-and-a-half years, suspended for four years after eight months imprisonment.