‘The damage you have done to this community is enormous’
As one of the heads of Central Queensland's biggest drug ring was handed a harsh sentence for peddling one of the most addictive and destructive drugs in society, Justice Graeme Crow stared down the man who ruined the lives of many.
Justice Crow did not divert his gaze as he described the destruction Brendan Arthur Lynch and his drug ring had brought upon the Rockhampton community while delivering a sentence in Rockhampton Supreme Court earlier today.
"This drug, and cocaine, are very highly addictive," he said.
"The amount of damage you have done to this community is enormous."
Lynch was the last of four sentenced from a drug trafficking ring that brought 10kgs of methamphetamine and 12kgs of cannabis as well as MDMA (pill form) and cocaine into Rockhampton over a 10-month period in 2016/17.
Lynch was sentenced to seven years jail with a parole eligibility date of February 14, 2022 on numerous charges of supplying, trafficking, and possessing dangerous drugs.
The court heard the offenders would speak in code, had modified a vehicle for drug trafficking, and would source drugs from Melbourne, Sydney, Cambodia, and China.
The drug ring was described in court as a "sophisticated business" but was undone by an intricate police investigation including undercover work and intercepted telecommunications.
Justice Crow said Lynch had looked after the business for approximately 20 days while co-offender Gregory Leo Lowien was imprisoned on other matters.
He said Lynch told the courier Brendan Michael Manitzky that for every kilogram he got and sold he made a profit of up to $70,000, and $500-$700 profit per pound of cannabis sold.
According to admissions to police, Lynch made a total profit of between $230,000-$270,000.
Lowien claimed the business profited $150,000 - $200,000 per month with a personal profit in the vicinity of $600,000.
Lynch and Lowien were considered the heads of the operation and the two other co-offenders were "employees".
In mid-August, Lowien was dealt the lengthiest sentence of 10 years and is required to serve at least eight years.
Rebecca Michelle Cooke, 38, was jailed for six-and-a-half years with parole eligibility in two years after accepting packages for the drug ring over its 10 months of operation.
During her sentencing, the court heard Cooke had quit her job at Drakes IGA to "pursue other employment opportunities" which turned out to be as a "storeman" for Lynch and Lowien's operation.
Manitzky was responsible for transporting drugs between Sydney and Rockhampton and was also sentenced for his role.
Justice Crow considered Lynch's, guilty plea, "minor and most irrelevant" criminal history, good prospects of rehabilitation, and the fact he had distanced himself from drugs when handing down the sentence.
"You have a good work history, you come from a good family, you have good prospects of rehabilitation, you have turned your back this awful drug which is very rare," he said.
Justice Crow warned the offender if their paths met again in the courthouse, the consequences would be grave.
"If you get involved in this business again, these sentences will get longer and longer - and closer and closer to that 25-year maximum."
Lynch's lawyer Rowan King said there were no winners such drug trafficking sentences.
He said Lynch has taken complete responsibility for his actions.
"He hasn't wasted anyone's time and he's just looking forward to moving forward with his life and putting all of this behind him," Mr King said.