Co­caine sup­plier ‘shame’

NT News - - NEWS - CRAIG DUNLOP

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.

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