Miner aided drug trafficker by storing firearms and drugs

A MINER struggling to deal with his wife's cancer diagnosis aided a known drug dealer in his trafficking business in the Whitsundays.

Jason Anthoney Nielson today pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton to one count of drug trafficking, one of possessing property suspected to be used in commission of a drug offence and one of possessing a drug utensil.

Defence barrister Michael Copley said his client came to the attention of police because he was in communication with convicted wholesale drug trafficker Jessie Lawrance Walker.

He said his client aided Walker for 25-26 days in December 2018 and January 2019.

Walker was sentenced in the Supreme Court in Mackay on August 28, 2019.

Read more here: Jailbreak for love: an ice trafficker's brazen escape

Mr Copley said Nielson had been a long-time recreational user of methamphetamines, but due to adverse developments, he turned to using more often.

He said one of the adverse developments was his wife's cervical cancer diagnosis and his mother's personal issues.

Mr Copley said during Nielson's drug rehabilitation journey, he gave a presentation at a function after being introduced by a Lives Lived Well staff member and was so inspirational, a man offered him a job at a Collinsville mine.

A video of that presentation was provided to Justice Graeme Crow ahead of sentencing.

Nielson had worked at Glencore's Hail Creek mine for 11 years, where his wife still works, but lost his job when he was charged with trafficking.

Mr Copley said Nielson had worked his way up at Collinsville back to the dragline operator position he had before he was fired by Glencore.

Nielson's aiding of the drug trafficking involved sourcing customers, providing advice, keeping items at his house including firearms and drugs, receiving money on Walker's behalf and providing accommodation to Walker.

 

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Nielson arranged for Walker to supply drugs to a female drug dealer, of which they discussed her performance and debt pay back in a series of conversations.

He offered Walker the sourcing of 3.5g of meth, which was 95 per cent purity, on December 29, 2018, saying it could be turned into four times as much.

Nielson contacted Walker on January, 4, and said he knew someone who had 3.5g of meth for $500, but Walker did not have the money for the purchase.

Police searched Nielson's house on January 11, 2019, and he was overheard in a phone call talking about how "lucky" it was Walker's money was not there when police were.

Police did locate clip-seal bags containing crystal substances, a tick sheet and other items.

The court heard Walker had collected debts for another alleged drug trafficker - Carl Smith - who had been taken into custody in December 2018. He discussed it with Nielson.

Nielson's criminal recorded included convictions for drug offences when he was 18-20.

Justice Crow warned Nielson "life will not be a bed of roses from now on" as normally a person has times of struggles throughout their life and "if you come back to this, there will be no mercy".

He sentenced Nielson to four years prison, suspended after 161 days (which he had served as pre-sentence custody) and operational for four years.



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