Drug Trafficking Charges Dandenong- Guilty Dandenong Magistrates Court
Drug Trafficking Charges Dandenong:
- Section 71AC Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 – Traffick Drug of Dependence namely Methylamphetaime
- Section 73 Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 – Possess Drug of Dependence namely Methylamphetaime
- Section 71AC Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 – Traffick Drug of Dependence namely Heroin
- Section 73 Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 – Possess Drug of Dependence namely Heroin
- Section 5(1) Firearms Act 1996 – prohibited person possess a firearm
- Section 5AA Control of Weapons Act 1990 – possess prohibited weapon namely butterfly knife
- Section 5AA Control of Weapons Act 1990 – possess prohibited weapon namely baton
Drug Trafficking Charges Dandenong Facts:
A client’s house was searched under warrant and a range of property found throughout various locations.
There was almost 200 grams of alleged drugs in the garage, along with a dismantled pistol in two pieces, a butterfly knife and a baton. In the bedroom of the property mobile phones were seized.
The 200g of alleged drugs was found in a number of different bags of various weights all contained in a suitcase in clear view on the desk. The dismantled firearm was found hidden in the corner behind an old immovable car.
Despite our client being the registered tenant of the property, quite a few other people had access, particularly to the garage. However, when police entered the property they witnessed our client and another person exiting the garage.
Police found a range of messages dating back a few months on the seized mobile phone that showed our client making agreements to sell drugs.
Drug Trafficking Charges Dandenong The Result:
The first thing we noted in this matter was that police had not charged our client with Trafficking a Commercial Quantity of Drugs, despite the fact that a commercial quantity of pure methylamphetamine is 100 grams. This suggested that the police were not confident that the 200g of substance they found was of a high purity or even that it was a drug, for that matter.
Ultimately, our client had to accept that he was trafficking drugs on some level, given the text messages found on the phone. However, there is a clear distinction between trafficking based solely on historic agreements to sell, and trafficking almost 200g of a substance. Therefore, we needed to dig a little deeper in relation to the substance found in the garage.
On the day of the case conference at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court we asked whether any testing had been done on the substance. Police had not yet done any spot testing but were going to send it all off for proper forensic analysis. The matter was adjourned for contest mention in eight months’ time to allow this testing to occur.
The results eventually came in. Of the 11 bags of varying weights, there was one small 0.5g bag at 86% purity, two bags of 5-6% purity, and the rest all less than 0.8% purity. In essence, notwithstanding it was a mixed quantity of drugs, it was of extremely low purity and would most likely not be sold as drugs.
Thus, discussions ensued with the prosecution with on what charges would proceed and how they would be sought to be framed. Eventually, police agreed to proceed with the trafficking of methylamphetamine on the basis of the text messages only, a charge of possess methylamphetamine for the low-quality mixture found in the garage, and two charges of possessing a prohibited weapon for the knife and the baton. They withdrew the remaining charges as there was no heroin, and they accepted that they could not prove our client knew of the firearm.
The police were at one point happy to withdraw the charge of possess methylamphetamine as an alternative to the trafficking, however we did not accept that. This would have suggested that our client was trafficking the low quality mixed substance in the house. This would have been a much more serious situation than it being based solely on historic test messages. Thus, we wanted the prosecution to make it clear that the trafficking was based on the messages alone and the possession was a standalone charge.
The plea then proceeded on the above arrangement, and notwithstanding it was our client’s third court appearance for drug trafficking charges, he was given another opportunity with a Community Corrections Order. This result would likely not have been attained if police maintained their initial allegation that he was trafficking the substance found in the house.
It was a great outcome achieved by attention to detail in how the charges were resolved. It would have been all too easy for some to accept the withdrawal of the possession charge as an alternative to the trafficking without thinking of how that would affect the factual bases of the allegations.