Man paid to courier drugs from Gold Coast to Mackay

A MACKAY man who was paid between $600 and $700 a trip to do drug runs for a dealer has been jailed.

Garry Charles Burt Owen, 50, pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs from April 11, 2014 to June 17 last year in the Supreme Court in Mackay.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a mobile phone used for trafficking, possessing marijuana and digital scales.

Crown prosecutor Michael Cowen said another drug dealer had been the "primary mover" whose business had been in marijuana and methylamphetamine.

He said Owen would transport drugs from the Gold Coast to Mackay on the dealer's behalf and earned between $600 and $700 per run.

Mr Cowen said the quantity of drugs Owen had couriered was unknown, but given the length of the trip, it would have been a "significant amount".

On February 27 last year, Owen was stopped by police on the Sunshine Coast and found in possession of more than an ounce of methylamphetamine, of which about seven grams was pure.

Owen said he'd bought the bag on the Gold Coast for $500-$600 and it had been for personal use.

On April 13 last year, he was sentenced to probation on that basis.

Mr Cowen said that had been an "erroneous" sentence as it had in fact been Owen's third courier on behalf of the drug dealer.

He said Owen had also sold small quantities of marijuana and on June 16 last year had been arrested and found with 11 grams of the drug.

Defence barrister Stephen Byrne said Owen was separated with two children.

He said Owen's mental health was "fragile" and that towards the end of his offending he had attempted suicide.

Mr Byrne said since his arrest, Owen had suffered depression, anxiety and trauma.

Justice Duncan McMeekin said Mr Cowen had been "rightly critical" of Owen going before a magistrate and saying the drugs had been for personal use.

He said Owen was a mature man who was facing custody for the first time.

Owen was sentenced to four years in jail. The sentence will be suspended after 16 months for a period of four years.

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