Busted dur­ing un­der­cover op

Daily Mercury - - NEWS COURT - Luke Mor­timer news@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

AN ice traf­ficker caught up in a po­lice sting has been jailed for spread­ing whole­sale amounts of the no­to­ri­ous drug across the Mackay re­gion.

Levi Lyn­don Harper (right) was caught up in a Queens­land Po­lice State Drug Squad op­er­a­tion tar­get­ing metham­phetamine (ice) deal­ing.

Specif­i­cally, un­der­cover of­fi­cers were tar­get­ing Charlotte Les­lie Mitchell, who was sen­tenced to six years jail (with pos­si­ble pa­role in Septem­ber 2018) ear­lier this year for traf­fick­ing.

Harper had be­come en­tan­gled in the web and the 32-year-old was ar­rested and charged in May 2016.

The Mackay man, who had since moved to the Gold Coast, fronted Mackay Supreme Court on Tues­day, rep­re­sented by bar­ris­ter An­thony Kim­mins, (in­structed by Ashkan Tai Lawyers).

Harper pleaded guilty to traf­fick­ing ice and MDMA (ec­stasy).

He was sell­ing ice up to an ounce (28 grams) in weight for up to $12,000 a pop and po­lice found ev­i­dence Harper traf­ficked over a pe­riod of about four months, be­tween March and Au­gust, 2015, Crown pros­e­cu­tor Mark Whit­bread told the court.

Jus­tice Dun­can McMeekin said dur­ing sen­tenc­ing some as­pects of Harper’s busi­ness deal­ings re­mained un­clear, such as his to­tal turnover and profit.

“What is known, comes mainly from what po­lice could find out ... the scale of your ac­tiv­i­ties is un­known,” he said.

“The amounts of money in­volved were large and it is known that if you sup­plied an ounce to Mitchell she would pro­vide you $11,000 to $12,000.

“Mr Kim­mins, who ap­pears on your be­half, points out that the ev­i­dence is not that you sup­plied all of that to Mitchell, but that you ini­tially sup­plied in smaller quan­ti­ties and larger quan­ti­ties over time. You sup­plied whole­sale amounts of MDMA on oc­ca­sions.”

Harper – who has a crim­i­nal record in­clud­ing drug pos­ses­sion and (mar­i­juana) pro­duc­tion largely racked up af­ter he was charged with traf­fick­ing – was de­scribed as a heavy user of ice and a fa­cil­i­ta­tor of “sub­stan­tial busi­nesses”.

Jus­tice McMeekin said Harper had lost a num­ber of peo­ple in his life – in­clud­ing his par­ents, grand­par­ents and close friend – and that per­haps in­flu­enced Harper’s de­ci­sion to turn to drugs.

Med­i­cal doc­u­ments ten­dered in­di­cated Harper “ful­fills the cri­te­ria” for a ma­jor de­pres­sive dis­or­der, panic dis­or­der and a sub­stance abuse dis­or­der.

Tak­ing into ac­count an early plea and the fact the Crown did not need to pre­pare for trial, Jus­tice McMeekin sen­tenced Harper to five years jail, with pa­role el­i­gi­bil­ity on July 14, 2019.

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