Drug gang’s ‘ gofer’ jailed

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON christie. an­der­son@ news. com. au

A DRUG run­ner who be­came em­broiled in one of the North’s largest drug rings will spend the next five months be­hind bars.

James Robert Bright, 35, was nabbed for drug traf­fick­ing and drug pro­duc­tion in 2011 dur­ing a covert po­lice op­er­a­tion.

De­tec­tives were mon­i­tor­ing his phone as part of Op­er­a­tion Julie Sacra­mento which re­sulted in more than 25 peo­ple be­ing charged with drug traf­fick­ing.

Dur­ing a six- month pe­riod Bright was tak­ing or­ders from the ring leader and trans­port­ing cannabis and money.

He was also tend­ing to a large- scale cannabis crop in Ravenswood where po­lice found more than 60 cannabis plants.

Bright was sen­tenced in the Townsville Supreme Court on Fri­day to two- and- a- half years in prison, sus­pended af­ter five months.

Crown pros­e­cu­tor Michael Cowen QC said Bright was a low- level drug run­ner who was regularly abused and ac­cused of be­ing an in­for­mant.

“Mr Bright could be rea­son­ably de­scribed as a gofer ... a dogs­body for the main of­fender as he used to trans­port drugs or money to and from the main of­fender,” he said.

“He has ob­vi­ously been led astray by some­body else ... he was sus­pected of be­ing an in­for­mant.

“He was a brow­beaten run­ner in that he was rou­tinely chas­tised and spo­ken to harshly.”

Bright’s drug ac­tiv­ity oc­curred be­tween March and Au­gust 2011 and he came to po­lice at­ten­tion sev­eral times.

On July 8, 2011, po­lice in­ter­cepted his car and found 10 pounds ( 4.5kg) of cannabis di­vided into one pound pack­ets.

He was also stor­ing drugs at an Al­li­ga­tor Creek prop­erty and meet­ing cus­tomers to sup­ply them with cannabis.

On Au­gust 27, 2011, Bright dropped off a drug as­so­ciate to the Mag­netic Is­land ferry ter­mi­nal who was car­ry­ing four pounds of methy­lam­phetamine.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Greg Lyn­ham said his client had been a hard- work­ing, lawabid­ing citizen un­til a chance meet­ing at a Townsville pub with the drug ring leader sent his life on a down­ward spi­ral.

“He first met the main of­fender at the Dal­rym­ple Ho­tel in 2009,” he said.

“He started us­ing il­licit sub­stances supplied by the main of­fender.”

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