Trafficker used drugs for 40 years undetected
A man who claimed he was using marijuana for four decades had no drug convictions before being busted trafficking drugs.
Gregory Robert Hixon, 57, pleaded guilty in on March 22 in Rockhampton District Court to one count of trafficking marijuana and nine of supplying a dangerous drug.
Crown prosecutor Matthew Sutton said Hixon was detected during the Queensland Police Service Operation Romeo Justice which targeted the sale and distribution of marijuana and methamphetamines in the Rockhampton area.
He said Hixon trafficked marijuana between May 14, 2019 and July 10, 2019 and was primarily a street level dealer, supplying small amounts with some wholesale amounts detected.
Mr Sutton said Hixon had between seven to 49 customers and avoided discussing drugs over the phone.
“Customers regularly requested to visit the defendant or the defendant visit them,” he said.
Mr Sutton said one of the supply charges was for Hixon supplying less than one kilogram at $7,200 per kilogram between May 24 and May 28.
He said Hixon prepared to supply 1.81kg of marijuana on May 28, 2019.
Mr Sutton said the extent of Hixon’s offending was not available.
Hixon’s residence was searched by police on August 26, 2019.
Defence barrister Nathan Boyd said his client had a lifelong addiction to marijuana and drank heavily for a period.
“Since his 30s, he has not been in the position to work having suffered multiple heart attacks,” he said.
Mr Boyd said Hixon had been on a pension for years.
Judge Jeff Clarke questioned Hixon abusing marijuana for 40 years, as per evidence before the court, but still managing to conduct the trafficking business.
“Other people who have used marijuana for 40 years have problems getting out of bed,” he said.
Judge Clarke also question how, if Hixon was indeed using marijuana daily as per the evidence, did he manage to get large amounts of marijuana in two months outlined by the prosecution.
Mr Boyd said Hixon sold to friends and friends of friends to help support his own habit.
He said Hixon also sold to others on behalf of another person.
“He assisted an associate of his in getting rid of an amount of marijuana,” Mr Boyd said.
Judge Clarke asked if Hixon was selling for someone else, why was he negotiating the price.
“He was confirming the price he was told to sell it for,” Mr Boyd said.
Mr Boyd said since Hixon’s arrest, he had abstained from drugs.
He said his client was now his mother’s carer after his stepfather died six weeks prior to Hixon’s sentence date.
Hixon’s mother, partner, sister and others were in the back of the court to support the drug trafficker during his sentence.
A letter from his doctor was provided to the court, stating in the 10 years Hixon had been their patient, he never showed signs of drug abuse.
Mr Boyd said Hixon never sought assistance from his doctor for drug abuse.
The court heard Hixon’s partner, who suffered her own medical issues, was Hixon’s carer.
A reference letter tendered to the court from the Kalka Hotel publican, who was a retired interstate police officer, spoke highly of Hixon.
“It seems contradicting you would be a caring family man when you supply illicit substances,” Judge Clarke said after reading the letter.
He said it also seemed odd to him that someone who had used marijuana for 40 years would immediately stop after being arrested.
Judge Clarke ordered Hixon to 2.5 years prison, suspended after serving four months and operational for three years.