‘Safe keeper’ of drugs pleads guilty
A Leederville man whose arrest on a yacht near the Montebello Islands last year led to the unravelling of a $20 million drug syndicate pleaded guilty to a string of charges in the Perth District Court on September 8.
Joshua Raymond Gaskell, 34, admitted possessing, with intent to sell or supply, 20.9kg of methamphetamine and $569,000 in cash, which was uncovered by WA anti-gangs squad officers in an Osborne Park storage unit after his arrest off the northwest coast last August.
Gaskell also pleaded guilty to possessing two guns and ammunition found in the storage unit, and a further $40,000 found at a Leederville property.
Lawyer Sanella Naumovski said her client pleaded guilty to the charges on the basis he was “acting as a safe keeper” for the money, weapons and drugs.
Ms Naumovski said the matter would need to go to a trial of issues before Gaskell was sentenced.
However, prosecutor Laura Christian said the State did not accept Gaskell was simply acting as a safe keeper given the quantity of drugs involved.
Gaskell’s trial of issues is expected to be listed later this year. The court heard another two men were due to face trial in November over the seizure.