‘No gains’ for drug sup­plier

Papa Bool­ean puts lo­cal pot sup­plier in front of judge

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - — Jes­sica Lamb

A MT JU­LIAN man who sourced pot for his friends across a two-year pe­riod fronted court on Mon­day and pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sup­ply­ing dan­ger­ous drugs.

Ryan Glen Hin­schen, 27, was ar­rested dur­ing a ma­jor po­lice bust – Op­er­a­tion Papa Bool­ean – af­ter his high school friend­ship with one of the op­er­a­tion’s main tar­gets put him on the po­lice radar.

Po­lice Pros­e­cu­tor Se­nior Sergeant Han­nah Beard out­lined 10 times from Jan­uary 2016 to Oc­to­ber 2017 when Hin­schen used his per­sonal mo­bile to com­mu­ni­cate with friends via texts about get­ting them mar­i­juana.

Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court heard po­lice in­ter­cepted texts us­ing codes to avoid nam­ing the drugs out­right; like “devil’s cab­bage”, “smoke”, “hook me up” or sim­ply “do you have any?”.

On Oc­to­ber 12 last year the elec­tri­cian by trade was in­ter­cepted with 46g of mar­i­juana while re­spond­ing to a sup­ply de­mand and drug di­verted by po­lice.

On De­cem­ber 5, po­lice ex­e­cuted a search war­rant and were given ac­cess to Hin­schen’s phone.

Lawyer El­iz­a­beth Smith said the cir­cum­stances of of­fend­ing saw her client sup­ply mar­i­juana 10 times over 20 months to four dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

“The main tar­get of the op­er­a­tion was some­one else who is well known to my client – they went to school to­gether and they both had an in­ter­est in cars and con­tin­ued that friend­ship out­side of school,” she said.

Ms Smith said the ‘friends’ in­volved were ones from the mines and broth­ers he knew dur­ing his time in Proser­pine State High School.

“They would con­tact my client and he acted as the in­ter­me­di­ary,” she said.

“There is no ev­i­dence he is a drug user him­self, and dur­ing the search of his house the po­lice turned up no small amounts of drugs or para­pher­na­lia which would point to him us­ing.”

“There is ab­so­lutely no so­phis­ti­ca­tion and no com­mer­cial­ity – he got noth­ing out of it ex­cept main­tain­ing friend­ships.”

Ms Smith said since be­ing picked up and drug di­verted in Oc­to­ber, Hin­schen has re­moved him­self from the “drug scene” com­pletely.

Mag­is­trate Si­mon Young said Hin­schen’s lack of crim­i­nal his­tory sug­gested this was out of char­ac­ter which was con­firmed by ref­er­ences from friends and his em­ployer.

“At 27 years old you are not a youth­ful per­son and oth­er­wise ex­pected to know bet­ter for this type of be­hav­iour,” Mr Young said.

“Record­ing a con­vic­tion for this of­fence will cre­ate a dis­pro­por­tion­ate penalty to you con­sid­er­ing you were sup­ply­ing to friends.”

Hin­schen was fined $2500 with no con­vic­tions recorded.

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