Jail 'warranted' but dealer freed

A DRUG dealer nabbed during one of south-east Queensland's biggest police operations has been sentenced to two years prison but released on immediate parole.

Jason Scott Harlow, 34, was one of about 30 people caught out as a result of Operation Ice Nightfall, and pleaded guilty at Ipswich District Court to supplying and possessing dangerous drugs.

The covert operation ran between April and September 2010 and focused on a network of ecstasy and amphetamine traffickers in the south-east. Harlow purchased MDMA tablets, or ecstasy, in bulk and on-sold them.

Text messages between Harlow and the bigger players were intercepted. When police raided his Silkstone home on September 9, 2010, they found 48g of cannabis and a mobile phone used in connection with the supply of drugs.

One of the major ringleaders, Travis Leonard Gibson, 22, was charged with trafficking dangerous drugs - including ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine - and was sentenced to three years prison but released on immediate parole by Justice Roslyn Atkinson last year.

Judge Deborah Richards said actual prison time for Harlow was warranted but given the sentence imposed by the previous judge, she released him on immediate parole.

Harlow's barrister said his client had no criminal history and it was unlikely he would be back before the courts.

In January, former Ipswich rugby league player Rodney James Hooper, 23, pleaded guilty to five counts of supplying dangerous drugs and was sentenced to 18 months prison suspended for five years. Judge Gregory Koppenol said Hooper also deserved a jail sentence but his hands had been tied by the earlier decision.



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