Lachlan Keith Brown pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying dangerous drugs in Rockhampton District Court on Thursday.
Lachlan Keith Brown pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying dangerous drugs in Rockhampton District Court on Thursday.

SENTENCE: Funeral paid for with mate’s drug money

A YEPPOON drug dealer, who sold drugs to an undercover cop, revealed in one of their many conversations how part of his drug money would help cover the funeral expenses of a friend who died of an overdose.

The 21-year-old is skating on thin ice after supplying methamphetamine to the officer on three occasions last year.

Lachlan Keith Brown pleaded guilty to the three supply charges in Rockhampton District Court last Thursday.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker said Brown's handiwork was revealed during a wider police operation, where he was identified as selling and supplying drugs to an undercover police officer.

She said Brown first met the officer on January 13 last year at The Strand Hotel, where he approached the officer and asked if he was part of the drug scene, as he could source pills and methamphetamine. The two exchanged numbers and details for Wickr, an encrypted messaging application used by drug dealers.

On March 2 last year the officer contacted Brown through Wickr and said he had $500 to spend. Brown told him he could supply him with 1g of methamphetamine and the two met in a carpark, where Brown supplied him with 0.925g of substance in exchange for $500.

Brown told the officer he could not supply him with MDMA because he had an outstanding debt.

On April 19 last year Brown contacted the officer and told him the going prices for methamphetamine. The officer told Brown he wanted to buy an 8 ball and they met at Yeppoon Bowls Club, where he was supplied 3.328g of substance for $1150.

It was later revealed there were no drugs in the bag supplied, and it contained MSM which is a cutting agent.

Brown told the officer his friend had died from a drug overdose and he was "being smashed" with phone calls for orders.

Their next contact was a few days later on April 23 last year where 14.061g of substance (0.961g of methamphetamine) was supplied to the officer for $3300. Brown told the officer he was not going to make any money from the sale, as he was going to use it to help cover his friend's funeral expenses.

Ms Baker said Brown did not come to the attention of police again during the operation and was arrested on January 24 this year.

She submitted there was commerciality involved in the supply and general deterrence should weigh heavily on sentencing, to send a message to other young people that dealing was not a quick and easy way to make a buck and would not be tolerated.

Barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said Brown was raised by a decent family in a good home. His mother, eldest sister and partner were in court supporting him, and the former had provided letters to the court.

Mr Ahlstrand said Brown, who works at Emu Park Pizza as well as behind the bar at Pie Alley Blues, started drinking alcohol at 16 and smoking cannabis at 15.

He said it wasn't until he was 18 that he started using methamphetamine, which developed into daily use.

He said Brown was committed to rehabilitating himself and staying away from methamphetamine, with his sights set on employment in the mining industry in the future.

Judge Vicki Loury questioned whether he was really committed to rehabilitation, due to a recent drug screen at Rockhampton Alcohol and Other Drugs Services returning positive for cannabis.

"This suggests he is still using cannabis," Judge Loury said.

"My concern Mr Ahlstrand, is he clearly does not appreciate the situation he is in. This does not suggest he is committed to rehabilitating."

Mr Ahlstrand said Brown continued to use cannabis because it assisted him in his efforts to remain free from using methamphetamine, to which Judge Loury replied he was delusional.

Before handing down a sentence, Judge Loury took a moment to address Brown on the contents contained in his mother's and sister's heartbreaking letters to the court.

"Your mother has written of how you have broken her heart. She has written of having seen, working in the emergency department of the hospital, drug addicts and users coming into the emergency centre and watching her own son becoming one of the 'ugly'," she said.

"Your sister has written of having seen your behaviour change when you stayed with her at the Gold Coast in 2017. She writes of how she asked you to clean up after yourself and you screamed in her face and threatened serious harm. She said she feared you being in her home.

"She also writes of you stealing money from your nephews' piggybanks and her mother being confronted by other drug dealers coming to the house. She has written of her own doubt that you can rehabilitate but has said she has seen a change in you."

Judge Loury said she would give Brown one last chance to clean up his act.

"You need to do something about your drug use, or you will end up going to jail," she said.

Brown was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with immediate parole.

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