Cocaine supplier ‘shame’
SOUVLAKI shop owner Alexis Kotis destroyed his standing in Darwin’s tight-knit Greek community when he was busted dealing cocaine, a court has heard.
Kotis, 39, pleaded guilty in Darwin Local Court to possessing and supplying a trafficable quantity of cocaine, after police in February busted him buying $7500 worth of the drug through the mail.
Prosecutor Sarah Pringle said Kotis had the drugs — which were hidden in a children’s DVD case — sent to his Darwin PO box under the false name Peter Jay Bond.
Kotis told an undercover detective posing as a post office employee he was picking up the package for his brother-inlaw. A raid on his house uncovered $34,700 in a safe, stacked in bundles of $5000 and $1000, which Kotis said was mostly from his wedding and christenings.
Police also found a set of digital scales covered in white powder and a number of small ziplock bags.
Kotis, as the junior member, was one of three members of Darwin’s Greek community arrested as part of what police described at the time as a “syndicate”.
In an interview, Kotis told police he had purchased the cocaine “to party with”.
“(I am) saving up (cocaine) because I have a birthday party coming up,” he said.
Defence lawyer Peter Maley, for Kotis, said his client was only selling to his immediate family and friends — and not turning a profit.
“(Police) ultimately concluded ... that he was breaking even,” Mr Maley said. “He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke cigarettes, his only vice is the occasional use of cocaine.” Mr Maley said Kotis, a father of three, “has been humiliated publicly” over his offending.
Judge Michael Carey said Kotis, a first-time offender, was not part of a commercial enterprise. “(He was) recouping the expense rather than making a profit,” Mr Carey said.
“Whatever profit he makes is his share of the drugs”.
He rejected Ms Pringle’s argument that Kotis should serve jail time.
“You’ve effectively destroyed your standing in the community,” Mr Carey said. “You’ve also now put yourself on the police watch list.”
Kotis was convicted, fined a total of $3300 and forfeited $4000 of the cash from his safe.