Unlucky drug dealer’s lucky day in court

A YOUNG Caboolture drug dealer might have been unlucky on Friday, February 13, but Tuesday, December 1, turned out to be a winner for him.

Police found a shotgun, $900 drug cash and a mobile phone with dealing-related text messages in Jeffrey Alexander Ward's car when they searched it on February 13 this year.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to trafficking dangerous drugs; receiving or possessing property obtained from trafficking or supplying drugs; and unlawful possession of a weapon.

The charges relate to his drug-selling activities between December 1, 2014 and February 13, 2015.

Justice Debra Mullins on Tuesday ordered the 23-year-old former Rockhampton resident to serve six months of a three-year nine-month jail term before being eligible for parole.

The rest of the sentence will be suspended for four years after he is released in July 2016.

Crown prosecutor Julie Aylward told the court police found a sawn-off shotgun between the front seats of Ward's car during a search of the vehicle at the Morayfield Tavern on Friday, February 13.

She said officers also found $900 in $50 notes and an iPhone belonging to Ward's girlfriend.

The court heard the phone had text messages that proved the defendant had been dealing methamphetamine and cannabis in the Caboolture and Morayfield areas for about six weeks.

Defence lawyer Simon Lewis said his client was supported by his family and his girlfriend and was ready to turn his life around.

Justice Mullins said luck was on Ward's side because he faced more time in jail if he had been trafficking drugs for a longer period.

"You were lucky to be detected when you were. Your lawyers have probably advised you that the sentences we impose for trafficking are determined by the period of trafficking as one of the factors," Justice Mullins said.

"So you mightn't have thought you were lucky to be detected on February 13, but you might reflect in subsequent years how lucky it was that your trafficking in dangerous drugs was stopped when it was."

Justice Mullins said Ward's criminal history showed he had difficulty with complying with court orders, but he had managed to avoid being convicted on most of his earlier offences.

"A copy of a report that I have indicates that anger management was found to be one of your issues and that is reflected by the sort of offending that is on your criminal history," she said.

"I want to give you the best opportunity for rehabilitation.

"When you are released you will have the balance of your sentence hanging over your head if you commit any further offending." - APN NEWSDESK



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