Drug kingpin trafficks $1.2m of drugs, claims Centrelink
The drug kingpin in a sophisticated trafficking business transported $630,000 of methamphetamine and $682,000 of cannabis while claiming Centrelink benefits.
Zane Rene Cook trafficked 3.5kg of methamphetamine over four runs from Brisbane to Cairns between August and October 2017.
The Townsville Supreme Court heard Cook bought 1kg of methamphetamine for $180,000 and sold the drug in ounce, half ounce and eight ball quantities.
Cook also trafficked 310 pounds of cannabis on eight runs including three runs to Brisbane and five to Adelaide between June 2016 to February 2017.
The court heard Cook acquired one pound of cannabis for $2,200 and on-sold the drug for $4,400 in Townsville and up to $6,400 in Weipa.
Cook was connected to 12 street level drug dealing families in Townsville who he supplied cannabis to on credit.
Crown prosecutor Amanda Payne said Cook was unemployed during the trafficking enterprise.
"However he was able to open a cafe, named Three Sisters and he was also in the process of making a vodka that he was spending his money on," she said.
"An analysis of his bank account details revealed he over $40,000 of unaccounted for money in his bank account excluding his Centrelink payments."
Cook was intercepted by police on October 22, 2017 after an extensive investigation involving other associates part of the trafficking syndicate. A police search of Cook's vehicle uncovered 500g of methamphetamine and a suitcase containing $14,750 cash.
Cook pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in dangerous drugs and one count of possessing dangerous drugs.
Defence barrister Mal Harrison said his client had started using drugs at a young age after a difficult upbringing.
"In terms of any drug use and this trafficking, it can't be said that he was a man wallowing around in the gutter with an addiction," he said.
"Because he was obviously able to run a trafficking business over a significant period of time."
Justice David Jackson declared the 1057 days spent in pre-sentence custody as time already served and sentenced Cook to nine and a half years' jail.
Cook will be required to serve half of the sentence before he will be released from jail.
Originally published as Drug kingpin trafficks $1.2m worth of drugs, claims Centrelink