Ice dealer with pet croc jailed for 6 years
A DRUG trafficker who had a pet crocodile was running a sophisticated operation peddling ice, a Townsville court has heard.
John Curtis Hines, 30, was this week sentenced to six years jail after pleading guilty to 12 charges including trafficking a dangerous drug, escape by persons in lawful custody, wilfully destroying corrective services property and possessing a protected animal.
Hines was also sentenced for using his mother to try to smuggle drugs into Townsville Correctional Centre, running away from police while being walked to the watch-house, possessing a 20cm crocodile and climbing on to the roof of the prison.
Crown Prosecutor William Slack told the court Hines was trafficking methamphetamine and marijuana between November 2015 and February 12, 2016.
He came to the attention of police during a large-scale drug operation where Hines was buying methylamphetamine from the operation’s main target.
He also sourced methamphetamine from other sources via text message and would buy up to an ounce at time for $10,000.
Hines had more than 40 customers and would often get them to pre-pay. He was also selling marijuana as a side business.
Mr Slack said Hines was selling to other users as well as people who would on-sell the drug.
His Bowen home was raided on February 11, 2016 and police found $5950 in cash hidden in his bed, cutting agents, 15.5g of testosterone, 8g of marijuana, 1.5g of substance containing methamphetamine and a 20cm crocodile in his fish tank.
He appeared in Proserpine Magistrates Court on February 12, 2016 before breaking free from police as they walked him to the watch-house.
Hines was found a short time later hiding in a bush nearby.
Justice David North said Hines had very little prospect of turning his life around.
Defence Barrister David James said his client’s profits from selling drugs was significantly reduced by his own drug habit and there was no accumulation of wealth.
He said Hines hoped to rehabilitate and reconnect with his nine-year-old son once released.
— CHRISTIE ANDERSON