ORIGIN STAR IN DRUGS DENIAL
HE WAS the larrikin football hero who loved a beer and a punt.
But Maroons State of Origin great Jason Smith allegedly led a secret life using betting accounts to deal in thousands of dollars worth of cocaine, police documents reveal.
Smith was one of the first big name sporting stars caught in the cocaine crisis which has rocked Queensland sport.
The veteran of 16 Origins and 15 Tests for Australia, who played for the Bulldogs, Eels, Raiders and Cowboys, was charged with drug trafficking as part of the year- long Crime and Corruption Commission investigation in to a multi- million- dollar cocaine cartel.
Smith, who now runs a Toowoomba pub, and mate Jason Woods, are charged with trafficking 280g of cocaine.
CCC intelligence, gathered from phone intercepts, text messages and covert surveillance, alleges Smith engaged in regular drug deals with accused cocaine kingpin John Touma between June and December last year.
It is alleged Smith was delivered drugs by drivers before arranging to deposit thousands of dollars in betting accounts belonging to Touma.
Smith was eventually arrested in January after police found a set of scales and two spoons allegedly containing residual white powder.
Within weeks, code- hopping star Karmichael Hunt and some of the Gold Coast Titans’ biggest stars had also been caught in the net.
Smith yesterday refused to talk to News Corp Australia, but his lawyer Chris Hannay said the fallen star denied trafficking charges and was struggling to cope with the fallout from the ordeal.
“This has had a catastrophic effect on his family, his business and his reputation,” Mr Hannay said.