An Illawarra man who ran a cannabis distribution network with his father that stretched into Central Western NSW has admitted he was motivated by money, saying he wanted to lead a “lavish lifestyle”.
Joshua De Gouveia and his father Jose fronted Wollongong District Court on Thursday for a sentence hearing after the pair pleaded guilty to supplying commercial quantities of cannabis over a five-month period from November 2017 to March 2018.
Taking the stand to explain his actions, Joshua told the court he was unsatisfied with the money he was earning as a stevedore at Port Kembla and told his father he wanted to start selling drugs.
“I got this stupid idea I could make easy money, and live a more expensive, luxurious lifestyle,” he said.
The court heard Joshua told his father about his plan, who opposed the idea.
However, Joshua said when he told his father he was going ahead with or without him, Jose told his son he’d find him someone reliable.
Jose then became his son’s supplier, sourcing the cannabis from an upline dealer then passing it on to his son.
Joshua told the court he was making between $100 and $200 profit per pound sold, but admitted making “a lot more” than $30,000 over the course of the operation.
He said he paid the mortgage on his $650,000 Flinders home with his legitimate earnings from his stevedoring job, then used the ill-gotten funds to pay for everyday living expenses.
He denied the money allowed him to live a “luxurious” lifestyle.
Meantime, Jose told the court he did not make a cent from the deals, despite police discovering more than $150,000 in his house upon his arrest.
In court, Jose claimed the money was made up of his savings, an inheritance from his deceased father and money his son had given him as payment for the next batch of cannabis.
He also attributed his mostly cash lifestyle to being paid in cash for his day job as a cement renderer and a successful hobby of buying, doing up and selling cars.
The pair remain in custody and will be sentenced in February.