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Legla law concept image

Young dad’s deportation risk over drugs

A young father risks being deported after he was locked up for serious drug offences in Townsville Supreme Court on Thursday.

New Zealand citizen Tangata Adam Cook-Avatea, 22, hugged his two-year-old son tightly in an emotional goodbye before he was led away by corrective services staff.

Cook-Avatea pleaded guilty to a string of drug charges including possessing dangerous drugs as well as driving without holding a licence and wilful damage by graffiti.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Lowrie told the court Cook-Avatea was found with a commercial quantity of drugs and almost $5000 cash when police stopped a car while patrolling in Vincent.

Police followed the car after officers saw it pull out of a home known to police to be "entrenched in drug activity" on January 12, 2018.

Cook-Avatea was the front passenger.

Officers found a black wallet containing $4920 cash as well as 6.29g of MDMA, 90g of marijuana, clip seal bags and small amounts of Xanax, meth and MDA near where he was sitting. He was on bail for other minor drug offences and was remanded in custody for 47 days when arrested.

Defence barrister Michael Hibble said the time behind bars was a wake-up call for Cook-Avatea who was 19 when he was arrested.

He said since coming out of custody Cook-Avatea turned his life around and had become a father with his girlfriend.

"He woke up to himself," Mr Hibble said.

In sentencing Justice North said he took into account that there was a risk he would be deported once he was released from custody. Cook-Avatea was sentenced to two years jail with a parole release date in five months. The 47 days were considered time already served.

Convictions were recorded.

Originally published as Young dad's deportation risk over drugs


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