Man, 22, 'quite surprised' he’d spent $90,000 on drugs
A 22-YEAR-OLD man was "quite surprised" to learn he'd purchased more than $90,000 of drugs in six months, his defence lawyer told the Supreme Court in Mackay.
Cannonvale man Brendan Ryan Johnsen, who turns 24 tomorrow, pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs from November 2014 to May 2015 and possessing a mobile phone used for trafficking in the court this morning.
Crown prosecutor Michael Cowen said intercepted phone calls revealed Johnsen had given another man $91,250 for marijuana, methamphetamine and an ecstasy-like drug over six months.
Mr Cowen said it was unknown how much profit Johnsen had made on-selling the drugs, or how many customers he had, but said his business must have been "very busy".
He said the estimated $91,250 turnover was a "conservative" figure, given Johnsen and his drug supplier had also discussed unspecified amounts of money 42 times during police phone intercepts.
Defence barrister Patrick Cullinane said Johnsen had fallen in with a group of friends who were drug users when he moved out of home at the age of 17.
He said Johnsen had started using marijuana and then became a heavy user of ice, which had affected his ability to function and work.
Mr Cullinane said Johnsen had on-sold drugs to fund his own habit.
He said he had "no idea" what the profits had been, and had been "quite surprised" to learn of the $91,250 figure.
Mr Cullinane said Johnsen had been born with a syndrome called VACTERL or VATER, which affected his bowel control and could make his time in prison more difficult.
Justice Duncan McMeekin said it was "disturbing" that Johnsen had trafficked while on bail, on a suspended sentence and on parole.
"You've got a criminal history that's getting more substantial as years go by," he said.
The judge said it was also concerning that, during one phone intercept, Johnsen could be heard telling his drug supplier that he was at risk of going to jail after breaching a suspended sentence.
"(You said) that you'd get back in contact with (the drug supplier) as soon as you were released, (that) demonstrates a complete contempt for the law," he said.
Johnsen was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended after two years for an operational period of five years.
He'd already spent 12 months in custody, of which nine months went towards that two-year period of imprisonment.