A Wollongong judge has rejected claims by a self-confessed drug dealer that he supplied large amounts of ecstasy for his ex-partner to sell in order to help her pay off a series of financial debts.
Lawyers for Kamil Sande told Wollongong District Court on Friday his role in the drug dealing syndicate between December 2016 and February 2017 had been motivated by his desire to help his “desperate” ex-girlfriend, Jemma Johnson, get out of debt.
“His involvement arises in circumstances where he was prevailed upon by her,” Sande’s barrister said, citing a report from Sande’s treating psychologist.
However, Wollongong District Court judge Andrew Haesler took a dim view of the explanation and gave it little consideration when determining the case against Sande.
“It may be that he was seeking to help [Ms Johnson] make illicit money – there’s no evidence before this court that he was doing it out of the goodness of his heart. I can find the only rationale for his involvement was to make money,” he said.
Sande, who has previously served time behind bars for drug offences, was the syndicate’s “up-line” supplier, providing a total of 852.3 grams of ecstasy to Johnson, who then distributed it in smaller batches to street runners including her 18-year-old cousin, Jack Richardson, and his mate, Jack Bayliss.
The two younger men would deliver bags of ecstasy tablets to clients and return the payments to Johnson and Sande.
Each tablet sold by the syndicate bore a distinctive Masterchef stamp, however testing on the seized goods by forensic chemists would later suggest a less than first-rate recipe, with the tablets found to contain MDMA with a purity of 14 per cent.
Detectives attached to Strike Force Worra began monitoring Johnson’s movements in October 2016, leading them to discover Sande’s role in the operation.
He was arrested in February 2017 and charged with commercial drug supply, to which he pleaded guilty.
In court on Friday, Sande’s lawyer said the 46-year-old had family support but would require assistance from Community Corrections when released on parole.
Judge Haesler sentenced Sande to four-and-a-half years jail, with a non-parole period of three years. With time served, Sande will be eligible for parole in January 2020.